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WEDNESDAY EDITION: Don't mess with the monkeys....Ham on a hog.....

Ham radio emergency comms in Eastern Iowa

A Gazette headline reads "2nd-largest per-capita group of amateur radio operators in the world call Eastern Iowa home"

The newspaper article says

When a derecho packing winds of 80 to 100 miles per hour — and gusts topping 140 miles per hour — hit Eastern Iowa in August, about 400,000 Iowans were left without power and many had no cell service.

That meant no television news, no cable updates, and for many that rely heavily on cellphones rather than landlines, limited phone access.

The Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club has a motto for those times: “When all else fails, radio.”

“For some people, it’s merely a hobby, but for a lot of us, it’s much more than that,” said Scott Haney, president of the CVARC club.

“Ham radio operators are involved in emergency management, in large event management, in a large variety of things. A lot of times people don’t know we’re there, but we’re actually a large part of planning and carrying out many events and gatherings.”

And in times of crisis — like the floods of 2008 or the derecho in August — emergency management officers rely on amateur radio operators to relay information and keep communications going when other systems aren’t working because of electrical outages.

“We do need to be trained, we do need the licenses, to do that kind of work,” said Haney, who is a former emergency manager for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service in Iowa. “Just having a radio won’t do it. You have to have someone who is competent to run the system.”

Read the full article at
https://www.thegazette.com/subject/life/people-and-places/ham-amateur-radio-scott-haney-cvarc-20210119

Note: It is not clear where the newspaper's headline writer got "2nd largest per-capita group ... in the world" from.  It is suspected several cities in Japan could be higher per-capita.

TUESDAY EDITION: More on the FCC warning to extremists...Popular app ZELLO used in capital attack.....I have heard everything now, a vagina candle...

 

A shadow of sadness is cast over HRO NH

It is with a profound sense of loss that the NH store announces that Michael Grant KC1LPT is a silent key.  Michael passed early Saturday 1/16/21 from Covid 19 & pneumonia.  He was last with us in the store December 10th, and has been putting up a fight since then at Parkland Hospital ICU in Derry, NH.  Mike joined us October 17, 2019 as a part time salesman working 4 to 5 days a week.  He was also instrumental in getting us through some shipping vacancies, always willing to do what ever was asked.  He'd snort at me - 'hey you're the boss, I'm the hoss' and amble off in a way that couldn't help but make you grin.  He always seemed to have a quip or salty expression one way or another, sleepy Pete being his most enduring and yet quizzical..... We never knew what would come out next, but it almost always made ya giggle.

Attached is a photo of Michael from our Holiday party in December of 2019.  The only thing really missing is his beloved Yaesu ball cap.... He'd try to convince us that he even wore that to sleep.  RIP friend, good DX.

Dave Barker | N1EDU
Manager
Ham Radio Outlet

TV DETECTOR VANS ONCE PROWLED THE STREETS OF ENGLAND

The United Kingdom is somewhat unique in the world for requiring those households which view broadcast television to purchase a licence for the privilege.

Initially coming into being with the Wireless Telegraphy Act in 1923, the licence was required for anyone receiving broadcast radio, before being expanded to cover television in 1946. The funds generated from this endeavour are used as the primary funding for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

A typical TV licence invoice. Separate licences for black and white and color sets still exist, with 6000 B&W licences issued in 2019.

Of course, it’s all well and good to require a licence, but without some manner of enforcement, the measure doesn’t have any teeth. Among other measures, the BBC have gone as far as employing special vans to hunt down illegally operating televisions and protect its precious income.

THE VAN IS COMING FOR YOU

To ensure a regular income, the BBC runs enforcement operations under the TV Licencing trade name, the entity which is responsible for administering the system. Records are kept of licences and their expiry dates, and investigations are made into households suspected of owning a television who have not paid the requisite fees. To encourage compliance, TV Licencing regularly sends sternly worded letters to those who have let their licence lapse or have not purchased one. In the event this fails, they may arrange a visit from enforcement officers. These officers aren’t empowered to forcibly enter homes, so in the event a homeowner declines to cooperate with an investigation, TV Licencing will apply for a search warrant. This may be on the basis of evidence such as a satellite dish or antenna spotted on the roof of a dwelling, or a remote spied on a couch cushion through a window.

Alternatively, a search warrant may be granted on the basis of evidence gleaned from a TV detector van. Outfitted with equipment to detect a TV set in use, the vans roam the streets of the United Kingdom, often dispatched to addresses with lapsed or absent TV licences. If the van detects that a set may be operating and receiving broadcast signals, TV Licencing can apply to the court for the requisite warrant to take the investigation further. The vans are almost solely used to support warrant applications; the detection van evidence is rarely if ever used in court to prosecute a licence evader. With a warrant in hand, officers will use direct evidence such as a television found plugged into an aerial to bring an evader to justice through the courts.

DETECTING TELEVISION USAGE

An example of the original detector van design, as deployed in 1952. Note the three loop antennas – one front, two rear.

The vans were first deployed in 1952, with equipment designed to pick up the magnetic field from the horizontal deflection scanning of the picture tube, at 10.125 KHz. Loop antennas were used to detect the second harmonic of this signal at 20.25 KHz, which was mixed with a local beat frequency oscillator at 19.25 KHz to create a 1 KHz tone to indicate to the operator when a signal was picked up. Three antennas were used, one on the front of the van and two on the rear on the left and right sides. When the van was next to an operating television in a house, the signal between the front and side antenna would be roughly the same. Signal from the right and left antennas could then be compared to determine which side of the street the television was on.

The VHF era brought with it a new detector van design, this time built on a car such as to avoid clearance issues with the tall antenna.

Once ITV started broadcasting in 1963, this method of detection became impractical. The two television stations did not synchronise their line-scan signals, so neighbouring houses watching different channels would create confusing interference for the detector. To get around this, the vans switched to detecting the local oscillator of the TV set’s superheterodyne VHF receiver instead. With stations broadcasting on bands spanning 47 to 240 MHz, it was impractical at the time to build a tuner and antenna to cover this entire range. Instead, the equipment was designed to work from 110-250MHz tuning in the fundamental frequencies of the higher bands, or the harmonics of the lower frequency oscillators. A highly directional antenna was used to hone in on a set, and a periscope was installed to allow the operator to view the house the antenna was pointing at. If operating in the dark, the periscope could instead be used to shine a small dot of light in the direction of the antenna!

’s facing, to identify the relevant target. Results were cross-referenced with a list of houses with lapsed or absent licences to help hunt down evaders.

A pair of antennas was used to search for televisions in the UHF era, with the twin setup helping to improve directionality.

The introduction of UHF transmissions led to further redesigns. Engineers again leaned on harmonics to allow a single system to cover the full range from low VHF to higher UHF frequencies. A pair of 6′ long log-periodic spiral antennas were used, mounted on top of the van, which could be varied in spacing to effectively tune different frequencies. In practice, the antennas would be pointed towards a row of houses, while the van was slowly driven along the street. The beam pattern of the antenna pair would show seven distinct lobes on a CRT inside the van when a TV was detected. An operator would press a button to mark house boundaries on the CRT as the van moved, and when the lobe pattern centered on a particular house, the TVs location was clear. The hardware was further refined over the years, with various antenna rigs and detection equipment used as technology marched on.

SEEKING TELEVISION IN MODERN TIMES

In the UHF era, pinning down a detected television set took some finesse, with the operator having to interpret signals received on a CRT display.

Modern efforts to detect licence evasion are shrouded in mystery. Modern flatscreen displays receiving digital television signals do not emit as much radio frequency interference as older designs, and any such signals detected are less easily correlated with broadcast television. An LCD television in the home can just as easily be displaying output from a video game console or an online streaming service, with both being usage cases that do not require the owner to pay a licence fee. Based on an alleged BBC submission for a search warrant in recent years, there may be optical methods used in which reflected light from a television in a viewer’s home is compared to a live broadcast signal. The BBC declined to answer the Freedom of Information request with any details of their methods, other than to say they have employed vehicles and handheld devices in enforcement efforts. However, given the multitude of broadcast, cable and satellite channels now available, the comparison e!

ffort would necessarily be much harder, leading some to suspect the days of the detector van are largely over.

While the TV licence may have its days numbered with the increased dominance of streaming content, it remains a quirky piece of legislation that spawned the development of a technical curiosity. If you fancy yourself a television sleuth, sound off in the comments with your chosen approach to hunting for televisions watching broadcast content illegally in this modern era. And be sure to look over your shoulder – you never know when TV Licencing might be knocking on your door!

HamCation QSO Party Set

Orlando HamCation has announced it will sponsor the HamCation QSO Party over the February 13 – 14 weekend (UTC), “to create a fun way for amateurs to celebrate the Orlando HamCation experience over the air.” The HamCation QSO Party will be a 12-hour event on HamCation weekend. HamCation 2021 was to host the ARRL National Convention, which now will take place in 2022.

“The QSO party will replicate the camaraderie and social experience of attending HamCation and provide a way to have fun on the radio, since HamCation 2021 will not be held due to COVID-19,” the HamCation QSO Party Committee said. The HamCation QSO Party will run from 1500 UTC on February 13 until 0300 UTC on February 14. It will be a CW and SSB operating event on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Any station may work any other station.

Categories will be High Power (more than 100 W output), Low Power (100 W output or less, but greater than 5 W), and QRP (5 W output or less). All participants will be single operators; there is no multioperator category. The exchange will be your name and state/province/country, and the outside temperature at your location. “We are including temperature at your QTH as a way of highlighting Orlando’s mild February weather,” the committee said.

Nine HamCation special event stations with 1 × 1 call signs will be on the air with combined suffixes spelling out HamCation (e.g., K4H, W4A, K4M, etc). Each contact will count as one point, and stations may be worked once on each band and mode. Entrants will report their scores on www.3830Scores.com; no logs are required. Final results will be based on the information submitted to the website.

Station guest operators must use their own call signs and submit their scores individually. Plaques and certificates will be awarded.   

HamSCI Issues Call for Abstracts for March Virtual Workshop

HamSCI has issued a call for abstracts for its virtual workshop March 19 – 20, hosted by the University of Scranton and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

“The primary objective of the HamSCI workshop is to bring together the amateur radio community and professional scientists,” said HamSCI founder Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF. The theme is midlatitude ionospheric physics, “which is especially important to us because the vast majority of hams live in the midlatitude regions,” Frissell said.

Invited tutorial speakers will be Mike Ruohoniemi of the Virginia Tech SuperDARN initiative and Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW. Elizabeth Bruton, of the Science Museum in London, will be the keynote speaker. Submit abstracts by February 15.

The March conference will also serve as a team meeting for the Personal Space Weather Station project. Frissell said he will coordinate with respective teams for their abstracts.

The HamSCI workshop welcomes abstracts related to development of the Personal Weather Station, ionospheric science, atmospheric science, radio science, spaceweather, radio astronomy, and any science topic “that can be appropriately related to the amateur radio hobby.”

Submissions related to the workshop theme of midlatitude ionospheric physics are encouraged. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Science/Program Committee, and authors will be notified no later than March 1. Virtual poster presentations are welcome, but due to time constraints, requests for oral presentation slots may not be guaranteed

MONDAY EDITION: FCC warns hams not use radio's while committing crimes, I guess its ok to commit crimes without a radio....The FBI is investigating evidence that a woman who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 stole a laptop or hard drive from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and intended to sell it to Russians....Video of idiots at the white house...Let's not forget the almost perfect Brink's Job...the Feast of the Ass....

Cool Story

In 2006 I deployed as an embedded combat advisor for the Afghan National Army. I quickly learned that icom radios were routinely used by the Taliban so I purchased an icom radio on the local economy and had my interpretter use it to scan the freqs to pick up any chatter. You would be amazed how many times this little radio warned my patrol of an impending attack.
At the time, I had no idea about HAM radio. I brought the icom home and stuck it away in my 72-hr kit where it has resided ever since. Long story short, I just began studying for my Technician license and realized what I had... along with the disappointment that it won't do 70 cm. In retrospect, I can probably credit my deployments to Afghanistan as my first lessons in VHF and UHF (TACSAT) comms, but I'm quickly learning that it was just the tip of the iceberg....I got this off of facebook

ARRL on the Purpose of Amateur Radio

For over 100 years amateur radio and ARRL — the National Association for Amateur Radio® — have stood for the development of the science and art of communications, public service, and the enhancement of international goodwill. Amateur Radio’s long history and service to the public has solidified the well-earned reputation that “Amateur Radio saves lives.”

Amateur Radio Operators, due to their history of public service, their training, and the requirement that they be licensed by the FCC have earned their status as a component of critical communications infrastructure and as a reliable resource “when all else fails."  Hell could freeze over here and the police would not ask amateur radio to save the day...ARRL needs to get real!

Amateur Radio is about development of communications and responsible public service. Its misuse is inconsistent with its history of service and its statutory charter. ARRL does not support its misuse for purposes inconsistent with these values and purposes.

Does price buy performance or satisfaction in an HF transceiver?

Frank Howell K4FMH of ICQ podcast is talking on this subject at the Denby Dale amateur radio club on Weds January 20th at 7.30pm (1930utc).

All amateurs are welcome - our meetings are held on Zoom ID 842 5221 3056

Frank is following up the excellent talk at our last meeting given by Rob Sherwood on radio performance . This is available on the club you tube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZpUYRkbMeA

QSO Today with Clint Turner KA7OEI

Clint Turner, KA7OEI, is an experimenter, builder, and operator on all bands and modes.

He shares his background in microwave communications, EME or Moonbounce, and his involvement in the Northern Utah Web SDR Project, an amazing on-line resource hams who want to listen to all of the low bands with waterfall display, at the same time.

https://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/KA7OEI

Germany dealt with over 3,500 radio interference complaints in 2020

Germany's Federal Network Agency BNetzA take radio interference seriously and in 2020 dealt with over 3,500 cases

A translation of a DARC post reads:

Despite the corona pandemic, the testing and measuring service of the Federal Network Agency determined and eliminated over 3,500 radio interference and electromagnetic incompatibilities on site. Every fourth incident related to a security or system-relevant radio service, for example from authorities and organizations with security tasks, aircraft radio and public cellular networks. "We guarantee interference-free communication for system-relevant radio and telecommunications services even during lockdown," says Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency.

Comprehensive hygiene and distance regulations secured field work and on-site order processing from March onwards. The availability of the fault acceptance department and the nationwide operational readiness of the testing and measuring service was also guaranteed around the clock, 7 days a week.

The testing and measuring service is always in demand when impairments to radio and telecommunications services have no operational causes, but are caused by unwanted or impermissible radio emissions or other electromagnetic effects. In addition to radio interference processing and preventive reviews of frequency assignments, the testing and measurement service monitors, among other things, the implementation of supply obligations in mobile communications and compliance with limit values for electromagnetic environmental compatibility. In addition, the testing and measurement service searches for frequency uses without frequency allocation and ensures at major events that frequencies can be used without interference for a wide variety of radio applications.

The testing and measuring service of the Federal Network Agency is represented with measuring vehicles at 19 locations in Germany in order to carry out tasks across the board. In addition, an accredited measuring laboratory for market surveillance and a satellite measuring point are operated. Consumers and companies who want to report radio interference can contact the radio interference department of the Federal Network Agency. This can be reached at any time on tel. 04821-895555 or by email at funkstoerung (at) bnetza.de.

Here it is clarified whether the reported fault falls within the legal competence of the Federal Network Agency. If the disruption is of an operational nature, the inquirer will be advised who to contact. This service and the fault handling by the inspection and measuring service on site are free of charge for the fault reporter. Even those who cause disruptions do not have to fear any fees, provided that the disruptions are caused through no fault of their own.

WEEKEND EDITION: Blowing like hell here on the rock, 1 inch of rain expected is better than snow...Lysol vintage ad ....

Neill A. Williams-K1YPM

 
Greenland - Neill A. Williams, 91, of Greenland, passed away peacefully on January 7, 2021 at Portsmouth Regional Hospital following a brief illness.

Neill was born on May 20, 1929, to Roy and Clara (Rose) Williams, in Duluth, Minnesota. He was raised in Duluth, and graduated from Duluth Central High School with the Class of 1948. Neill attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1950.

Neill served 20 years active duty in the Navy and was stationed in California, New Jersey, London, England, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, Maine and finally Lakehurst, NJ, attaining the rank of Chief Aviation Electronics Technician. Following his active duty tenure, Neill transferred to the Naval Fleet Reserve, where he spent an additional 10 years on reserve status. He officially retired from his 30 years of naval service in 1980 with an Honorable Discharge.

It was while Neill was stationed in London that he met his future wife Violet McIver, and they were married on October 20, 1954.

Following his retirement from active duty, Neill worked as a manufacturing engineer in the electronic weapons industry for the US Army and US Navy departments. He retired from the weapons industry in 1990 after 20 years. In retirement, Neill worked as a real estate broker, and spent 13 years working for the NHDOT as a toll attendant.

Neill became active in Lions Club International after moving to Portsmouth, NH in 1971. He joined the Portsmouth Lions Club in 1972, and worked tirelessly supporting the Lion’s mission. He was past president of the local club, and served as Zone Chairman and Cabinet Secretary for District 44H. Neill served as president of the NH Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. In 1992 Neill became the District Governor of Lions district 44H, and had the honor of being installed at the Lions International Conference held in Hong Kong, China. Neill was also the recipient of the Melvin jones Award.

Neill had a lifelong interest in being a ham operator since assembling a radio at age 13. He held a ham operator's license for 73 years, and his call letters 'K1YPM' were known by many fellow operators across the country. Neill was known to be up at 4:30 AM many mornings to connect and chat with his ham buddies. He was a member of the Portsmouth Radio Amateur Club, and served as vice president.

Neill was a member of the Rye Congregational Church, and served on the Mission Committee and the Policy and By-Laws Committee. He was a proud member of Greenland’s Veteran’s Organization, and a member of American Legion Post 6.

Neill is survived by his daughter Myra Fishbein and her husband James of Greenland, his son Allen Williams and his wife Ann of Manchester. He is further survived by grandchildren Jennifer (Ira) Lehrer of Greenland, Morgan (Greg) Henneman of Belair, MD, Jillian (Michael) Fishbein-Gibson of Hamden, CT and Harrison Williams of Manchester and great grandchildren Alec and Jack Lehrer, Avery and Caroline Henneman, and Charles and Crosby Gibson. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Neill was predeceased by his parents, his loving wife Violet, and his sisters Donna Isaccson and Janice Orlowski.

Neill will be remembered as a man of utmost honesty and integrity, and a true gentleman. He had a profound love for his family and his country.

Funeral services with military honors will be held at 1 P.M. Friday, June 4, 2021 at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. In Neill’s memory, donations may be made to the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation of NH Inc-/ P.O. Box 970, Concord, NH 03302-0970. Arrangements are by the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, Hampton.

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The APRS of it all ...

Amateur radio is a living anachronism. We have this heady mix of ancient and bleeding edge, never more evident than in a digital mode called Automatic Packet Reporting System or APRS. It's an amateur mode that's used all over the place to exchange messages like GPS coordinates, radio balloon and vehicle tracking data, battery voltages, weather station telemetry, text, bulletins and increasingly other information as part of the expanding universe of the Internet Of Things.

There are mechanisms for message priority, point-to-point messages, announcements and when internet connected computers are involved, solutions for mapping, email and other integrations. The International Space Station has an APRS repeater on-board. You'll also find disaster management like fire fighting, earthquake and propagation reporting uses for APRS. There's tools like an SMS gateway that allows you to send SMS via APRS if you're out of mobile range. There's software around that allows you to post to Twitter from APRS. You can even generate APRS packets using your mobile phone.

In my radio travels I'd come across the aprs.fi website many times. It's a place that shows you various devices on the APRS network. You can see vehicles as they move around, radio repeater information, weather, even historic charts of messages, so you can see temperatures over time, or battery voltage, or solar power generation, or whatever the specific APRS device is sending.

As part of my exploration into all things new and exciting I thought I'd start a new adventure with attempting to listen to the APRS repeater on the International Space Station. I'm interested in decoding APRS packets. Seeing what's inside them and what kinds of messages I can hear in my shack. Specifically for the experiment at hand I wanted to hear what the ISS had to say.

After testing some recommended tools and after considerable time hunting I stumbled on multimon-ng. I should mention that it started life as multimon by Tom HB9JNX, which he wrote in 1996. In 2012 Elias Oenal wanted to use multimon to decode from his new RTL-SDR dongle and in the end he patched and brought the code into this century and multimon-ng was born. It's available on Linux, MacOS and Windows and it's under active development.

It's a single command-line tool that takes an audio input and produces a text output and it's a great way to see what's happening under the hood which is precisely what I want when I'm attempting to learn something new.

In this case, my computer was already configured with a radio. I can record what the radio receives from the computer microphone and I can play audio to the radio via the computer speaker. My magical tool, multimon-ng has the ability to record audio and decode it using a whole raft of in-built decoders. For my test I wanted to use the APRS decoder, cunningly disguised as an AFSK1200 de-modulator. I'll get to that in a moment.

The actual process is as simple as tuning your radio in FM mode to the local APRS frequency and telling multimon-ng to listen. Every minute or so you'll see an APRS packet or six turn up on your screen.

The process for the ISS is only slightly different in that the APRS frequency is affected by Doppler shift, so I used gpredict to change the frequency as required; multimon-ng continued to happily decode the audio signal.

I said that I'd get back to AFSK1200. The 1200 represents the speed, 1200 Baud. The AFSK represents Audio Frequency Shift Keying and it's a way to encode digital information by changing the frequency of an audio signal. One way to think of that is having two different tones, one representing a binary zero, the other representing a binary one. Play them over a loud-speaker and you have AFSK. Do that at 1200 Baud and you have AFSK1200.

When you do listen to AFSK and you know what a dial-up modem sounds like, it will come as no surprise that they use the same technique to encode digital information. Might have to dig up an old dial-up modem and hook it up to my radio one of these days.

Speaking of ancient. The hero of our story, APRS, dates back to the early days of microcomputers. The era of the first two computers in my life, the Apple II and the Commodore VIC-20. Bob WB4APR implemented the first ancestor of APRS on an Apple II in 1982. Then in 1984 he used a VIC-20 to report the position and status of horses in a 160km radius using APRS.

As for the International Space Station, the APRS repeater is currently switched off in favour of the cross-band voice repeater, so I'll have to wait a little longer to decode something from space.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Harmful Coronavirus content on Loveworld breaks broadcasting rules for second time

An Ofcom investigation has found that religious satellite television channel, Loveworld, breached broadcasting rules for the second time in a year.

During the course of a 29-hour programme - The Global Day of Prayer - news content and sermons presented potentially harmful, unsubstantiated theories about the Coronavirus, without providing adequate protection for viewers. 

Some of the statements claimed that the pandemic is a “planned” event created by the “deep state” for nefarious purposes, and that the vaccine is a “sinister” means of administering “nanochips” to control and harm people. Some statements claimed that “fraudulent” testing had been carried out to deceive the public about the existence of the virus and the scale of the pandemic. Others linked the cause of Covid-19 to the roll out of 5G technology. 

Ofcom stresses that legitimate debate about the official response to the Coronavirus pandemic is fundamental to holding public authorities to account during a global health crisis - particularly when public freedoms are curtailed and complex policy decisions are being taken. However, the potentially harmful claims made during this programme were unsupported by any factual evidence and went entirely without challenge. 

Loveworld’s failure to put these unsubstantiated statements into context risked serious harm to its audience. They had the potential to undermine confidence in public health measures put in place to tackle Covid-19, at a time when cases, hospital admissions and deaths were rising in the UK.  

Given these serious failings, we concluded that the Licensee, Loveworld Limited, did not adequately protect viewers from the potentially harmful content included in the programme, and that its news reports were not duly accurate.  

We have directed Loveworld Limited not to repeat the programme, and to broadcast a summary of our findings. Given the seriousness of this breach and that this is Loveworld Limited’s second of this nature, we are also considering whether any further sanction is warranted. 

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2255for Friday January 15th 2021

HAMVENTION 2021 CANCELLED

JIM/ANCHOR: With distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine falling behind schedule in the U.S., organizers of Hamvention 2021 have called off the annual event for the second consecutive year. The executive committee posted the news on various social media outlets on Monday, January 11th, citing several setbacks related to the pandemic, with the vaccine delay named among them.

The posting said: [quote] "We make this difficult decision for the safety of our guests and vendors. Those who had their tickets deferred last year will be deferred again." [endquote]

The theme for this year's Hamvention was to have been "The Gathering." Instead, a Hamvention QSO Party is planned instead on the dates the event was to have taken place.

The organizers added: [quote] "We’ll be back next year!!!"

**
IARU EVENT ADOPTS THEME SPURRED BY PANDEMIC

JIM/ANCHOR: The same pandemic that has forced cancellation of so many events has also given radio amateurs a reason to step up their game on the air. One of the next big events has been announced by the International Amateur Radio Union. Jason Daniels VK2LAW has those details.

JASON: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided inspiration for a World Amateur Radio Day theme similar to a popular campaign in the UK. The IARU has chosen the theme of "Home But Never Alone" when World Amateur Radio Day kicks off on Sunday April the 18th. The theme also carries forward the activities that sprang up around the world last year, from special event stations that reminded people to stay home and safe, to local wellness nets where the elderly and others in isolation could check in regularly.

According to the IARU, on-the-air activity reached unprecedented levels and participation in major contests soared in 2020.

World Amateur Radio Day is observed every year on the 18th of April to mark the date in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

**

EARLY-BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR QSO TODAY'S 2ND VIRTUAL EXPO

JIM/ANCHOR: Early bird tickets have become available for the second QSO Today Expo, which is being held online on March 13th and 14th. Forty-eight hours of panel discussions, kit-building workshops and an array of new speakers will be part of the experience, which is being organized in partnership with the ARRL in the United States. The wide range of topics includes 3D printer basics; Arduino in the shack; and DXpeditioning to the DXCC's Most Wanted locations.

Early bird tickets are $10. During the event itself, the tickets will be $12.50. Tickets to the live event include access to the 30-day on-demand period that follows, continuing until April 12.

The first QSO Today Expo held last August attracted more than 16,000 participants.

To register visit qsotodayhamexpo.com.
**

REVERSE BEACON NETWORK ADDS NODE IN FINLAND

JIM/ANCHOR: Researchers whose studies focus on propagation have gained a new tool in their arsenal. It's in Finland - and Ed Durrant DD5LP tells us about it.

ED: A new node has become active in northern Finland as part of the Reverse Beacon Network, thanks to the support of the Yasme Foundation. The new node was set-up at Radio Arcala OH8X, near the Lapland border to help in the study of a propagation mode known as the Polar Path. This propagation occurs in northern Europe during winter. At night the Polar Path provides several hours' worth of coverage over North America.

Radio Arcala's node will become one of the research tools being used by the researchers in that part of the world. The Yasme Foundation's grant programme was announced last year, providing grants to regions studying reception reports and conducting geophysical research. A Yasme-funded node was installed last October in Tunisia, bolstering the Reverse Beacon Network's presence in northern Africa.

(WIA, EHAM.NET)

**
POPULAR TV PERSONALITY GETS HAM RADIO LICENSE

JIM/ANCHOR: It seems that "Last Man Standing" actor Tim Allen isn't the only main player on a TV
show to get a ham radio ticket. Meet Donna Snow, who has been a fixture on a popular DIY Network program in the U.S. Kevin Trotman N5PRE introduces her to us.

KEVIN: Donna Snow of the long-running reality show "Texas Flip 'N Move" recently became Donna Snow W5SML. Although her call sign is a lot newer than the name she made for herself on the popular home-makeover series, she is hoping for changes in her own shack soon. Inspired by her ham radio mentor Rex King W5EAK, a Vietnam veteran and a former Navy radioman and officer, Donna is exploring ways to use ham radio as a tool to connect veterans struggling with life after military service. She has already accomplished that through renovation projects that included making a bathroom safer for a Vietnam vet, and repairing a flood-damaged American Legion Post. She is presently redoing the yard outside the home of a widow of a veteran who fought at Iwo Jima.

While studying to upgrade to General class, she is also making plans for a TV show featuring amateur radio and, of course, the veterans themselves. Her progress reports appear every week on her QRZ page.

Donna told Newsline in an email: [quote] "I am on a mission to tell everyone about ham radio and the benefits it offers to all, no matter their age." [endquote] She said she is living the spirit of her vanity call sign W5SML - SML for "Snow Much Love."

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.

**
LAUNCH OF SPAIN'S HAM RADIO SATELLITE POSTPONED TO MARCH

JIM/ANCHOR: Two ham radio satellites from Spain have had their launches put off for a few more weeks. Jeremy Boot G4NJH explains.

JEREMY: A delay by SpaceX has postponed Spain's scheduled amateur radio satellite launch on January 14th. The departure of the EASAT-2 and Hades satellites is now on the calendar for sometime in March to coincide with the Starlink mission.

According to the AMSAT-EA website, both satellites are carrying an FM / FSK repeater and are capable of voice and digital communications. EASAT-2 is assigned the callsign AM5SAT and Hades is assigned AM6SAT.

SpaceX is to launch the satellites via the in-space transportation provider Momentus aboard the Falcon 9 Launcher.

**
SPACECRAFT COPIES FM SIGNAL NEAR JUPITER'S MOON

JIM/ANCHOR: Think of this as perhaps the world's tiniest space QSO. NASA reports that its Juno spacecraft which is orbiting Jupiter copied an FM radio signal from its largest moon, Ganymede (GANNY-MEED). It turns out that the radio emissions were the result of electrons oscillating at a lower rate than they were spinning, causing them to amplify radio waves. Juno picked it up as it was passing by a polar region of Jupiter where the magnetic field lines connect to Ganymede.
It's called "cyclotron maser instability" and it's a natural occurrence. The excitement only lasted 5 seconds -- but it was a first.

**
HAMCATION NAMES NEIL RAPP WB9VPG 'EDUCATOR OF YEAR'

JIM/ANCHOR: This next story is a personal one, celebrating one member of our Newsline family. Our anchor and correspondent Neil Rapp WB9VPG, who teaches high school chemistry in Indiana, has been named Carole Perry Educator of the Year by Orlando HamCation. Newsline editor Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT spoke to Neil about his commmitment to amateur radio education.

CARYN: Licensed since the age of 5, Neil Rapp knows better than most of us that ham radio is the best teacher.

NEIL: Especially when I got into high school, ham radio helped me understand science. When I got to Chemistry, when everybody else was having a hard time, I already knew my metric system, when I got to Physics, I already knew Ohm's law -- because I did all of that when I was 5.

CARYN: Those early lessons became the foundation for the path his life took as sponsor of school ham clubs, in the ARRL Teacher Institute and as one of the founders and camp director of Youth on the Air for IARU Region 2. For Neil, ham radio doesn't get old -- it gets YOUNG.

NEIL: Yeah we do have youth in ham radio and we do have kids doing great things with it. There are some opportunities to make sure this continues. It amazes me that the kids that are really into CW at a time when a lot of people didn't want to learn CW and that's what kept them out of the hobby. They're also into all these cool new digital modes that are becoming more efficient and setting the pace for the commercial radio industry and cell phones and public service and all the digital stuff. A lot of that came from ham radio.

CARYN: His next project? A Youth on the Air mini-camp that mixes science with the science of socializing.

NEIL: What we are trying to do is build some of those social connections between the kids and that's why there is a lot of YOTA time that's at an amusement park, at Dave & Buster's, at this place and that place that may not have a thing to do with ham radio because it's social interaction time. The whole YOTA thing isn't just learning about radio and learning about technology; it's getting the social aspect there so that kids know other kids. We have seen in Europe that perpetuates the hobby. That keeps the kids in the hobby.

CARYN: So congratulations Neil. Your well-deserved Carole Perry trophy will now sit beside your autographed oscillator from Carole's Youth Forum at Hamvention.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT.

**
COUNTDOWN TO PLUTO'S BIG ANNIVERSARY

JIM/ANCHOR: Whether or not you still think of Pluto as a planet, its discovery is still something to celebrate. Randy Sly W4XJ tells us why.

RANDY: The Northern Arizona DX Association is about to launch the first event in its 10-year special event countdown to the 100th anniversary of its discovery in the Kuiper (KY-PURR) Belt. Be listening for club members operating between February 13th and the 21st as W7P. They'll be at the Lowell Observatory from which Pluto was first spotted and their home QTHs. One of the operators will be Doug Tombaugh N3PDT, nephew of Pluto's discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh. He will operate as W7P/0.

There will be special QSL cards each year leading up to the 100th anniversary event. A certificate with endorsement stickers for each of the 10 years of the special event and for a contact with Doug and his team will be available later as well, Visit the QRZ.COM page for more details.

(QRZ)
**
FANS OF RADIO'S FIRST VOICE MODE PREP FOR AM RALLY

JIM/ANCHOR: Amplitude Modulation, or AM, was the first voice mode over radio. It has three parts - a carrier, an upper sideband, and a lower sideband - and in just two weeks, it will be gaining a fourth part: The AM Rally. This is an annual event designed to encourage AM activity for newcomers as well as longtime fans who may be firing up their vacuum tube rigs to make contacts.

This year's event will be held from 0000Z on Saturday, February 6th to 0700Z Monday February 8th - or for those in the United States, 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday February 5th to 2 a.m. Eastern time Monday February 8th. Organizers said YLs in particular are invited to return, based on the success of last year's "Ladies' Night" feature. All types of radios are permitted, from modified military and broadcast equipment to homebrew and those commercially manufactured.

For additional details and to find operating and logging guidance, visit the website amrally dot com (amrally.com)

(CLARK BURGARD N1BCG)

**
WORLD OF DX

In the World of DX, AMSAT Argentina, LU7AA will celebrate the 31st anniversary of the LUSAT satellite (LO-19) between January 16th and 24th. Be listening on the HF bands on SSB, CW and the digital modes. A special certificate is available. Visit QRZ.COM for additional details.

In Israel, listen for 4X0RMN to be operating from the Ramon Crater, Israel's largest national park, in the Negev desert between the 30th of January and the 1st of February. Send QSLs to 4X6ZM, LoTW and eQSL. A certificate will be available for working three out of the four special stations that are operating as part of the ongoing Land of Craters Program that kicked off last year. For more details visit QRZ.COM.

Be listening for Bo, OZ1DJJ operating in his spare time as OX3LX from Tasiilaq (TAZZY-Uh-LACK) Island in Greenland through the 30th of January. Send QSLs to LoTW, Club Log's OQRS or direct to OZ0J.

KICKER: GOT A MINUTE? ER, 59 SECONDS?

JIM/ANCHOR: Got a minute? Or maybe a millisecond less? It's time for Graham Kemp VK4BB and our final story of the week.

GRAHAM: Things might just get a little challenging for UTC - Coordinated Universal Time, that is - the time-keeping system so familiar to us hams who pursue precision in our DX contacts or use some of the newer digital modes. As reported on the UK news website, The Telegraph, scientists are now suggesting that the world's atomic clocks, which control UTC, shorten the minute so that UTC can better keep pace with the irregular rate of the Earth's rotation, which most people measure using the less precise method known as "solar time."

Let's face it, it's hard to stay in sync. When the Earth's rotation was seen to be slowing, scientists added something called a "leap second" to the end of a particular year. They've done this 27 times since 1972 to keep atomic clocks and UTC sympatico with solar time. Scientists believe Earth's 24-hour rotation has grown swifter now, making the days ever-so-slightly shorter. They also believe 2021 could well be the shortest year we've had in many decades. They say this will ultimately have an impact on navigation systems and satellite communications and anything else that requires precision in cosmic timekeeping.

This very subject is up for discussion at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2023 which is at least two years - and many, many, many, many seconds away.

Now that's a thought that could probably make our own heads spin a lot faster too.

Having the time of my life with that report for Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.

FRIDAY EDITION: I happened upon 3927, the premier redneck net, and it is usually quite amusing but last night N1FM picked a fight with Bruce N4MTC. so these two talked over each other for 45 minutes straight. Better watch out or Riley or the new improved ARRL OO program will punish you. Look up N1FM on yahoo, he is no stranger to trouble. Want a laugh, tune in some night.....I was on 3928 early in the afternoon yesterday and had a nice qso with Gil, I was running 700 watts, ladder line in the shack to a balun, the whole house lit up with a siren from my smoke detectors. I ran from the second floor to the basement, no fire. It appears my rf set them off from the Icom 7600 fed in to the Acom 1010 amplifier, that is a first...any ideas??????.....The best and worst products at Costco.....What's going on with the helicopters over CA?...Covid map of USA....

CHESS CubeSat Constellation to carry FUNcube transponders

In 2020, a project between AMSAT-UK, AMSAT-NL and Swiss universities started with the aim of equipping two Swiss satellites with a linear transponder for amateur radio

With a linear transponder, several QSOs can take place simultaneously. The satellites can be operated in CW/SSB with the simplest equipment. The satellites also include features for classroom demonstrations and experiments. In numerous teleconference discussions, the technical possibilities could be sounded out and the realisation prepared.

The CHESS [Constellation of High Energy Swiss Satellites] project includes two satellites, which will be built simultaneously and later launched as a constellation. Both will provide a linear transponder for amateur radio use. The first satellite will have a nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 400 km. The second will have an elliptical orbit with an altitude of 350×1000 km.

The satellites themselves are a project of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with support from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU – Institute of Electrical Engineering IET), the University of Bern, the Valais University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HES-SO), the Haute École Neuchâtel and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich. The amateur radio payload is a project of AMSAT-UK/-NL.

On 18 December 2020, the successful system requirements review took place. The project coordination between CHESS and AMSAT lies with the Amateur Radio Association of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Technology & Architecture, Horw.

The Swiss AMSAT Operators provide information about the CHESS project at https://www.amsat-hb.org/funcube-chess/

EPFL Spacecraft Team
https://www.epflspacecraftteam.com/chess-1

Ham radio centre at Ganga Sagar

By January 14 (Makar Sankranti) around 780,000 pilgrims had arrived at Ganga Sagar and radio amateurs from the West Bengal Radio Club established a QO-100 satellite ground station on the island 

The Millenium Post newspaper reports

In a bid to help people access information when phones and conventional broadcast systems fail during natural calamity, Ham radio operators have installed amateur radio satellite communication (using Qatar-OSCAR-100 the first geostationary amateur radio transponder) at Ganga Sagar Island.

"Through this system, we will be able to send live video, photos and data of the situation after the natural disaster anywhere and help can also be sought by making a voice call," said Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA, custodian and secretary of West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC), an organisation of ham radio enthusiasts in the state.

Read the full story at
http://www.millenniumpost.in/kolkata/ham-radio-centre-at-ganga-sagar-429289

Tips on operating a Satellite while Roving

In Episode 6 of DX Engineering’s Amateur Radio Satellite series, Sean Kutzko, KX9X, explores the fun of operating your amateur radio gear from a grid square other than the one where you live

Sean and four top U.S. rovers have plenty of tips for your next portable satellite adventure.

Watch Tips on operating a Satellite while Roving
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1yWQ2-kGEQ

Ofcom: Technologies shaping communications for the future

A new Ofcom report shines a light on the innovative, emerging technologies that could shape the communications industry in the future

Communications services and the technologies used to deliver them are constantly evolving. As the UK’s communications regulator, it’s vital we are aware of developments in the sectors we oversee and how they may change in the coming years – particularly as we take on new responsibilities such as regulating online harms.

So last year we put out a call for people to send us their thoughts on the emerging technologies that have the potential to transform communications in the future. We received contributions from companies, organisations and technology experts from across the world.

Today we have published a report highlighting examples of the technologies submitted to us – including analysis of how each technology would make a difference to people and businesses.

Innovative technologies to support the rollout of better mobile and broadband services; the role of satellite technology in connecting the hardest to reach areas; and exciting developments in the broadcast sector – such as enhanced, bespoke coverage of sporting events – all feature in the report. New immersive technologies allowing people to touch – and even smell – at a distance, are also highlighted.

Download the report from
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/emerging-technologies

Further detail on these technologies is explained in a series of videos we have published alongside the report.
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/emerging-technologies/video-contributionsOfcom: Technologies shaping communications for the future

A new Ofcom report shines a light on the innovative, emerging technologies that could shape the communications industry in the future

Communications services and the technologies used to deliver them are constantly evolving. As the UK’s communications regulator, it’s vital we are aware of developments in the sectors we oversee and how they may change in the coming years – particularly as we take on new responsibilities such as regulating online harms.

So last year we put out a call for people to send us their thoughts on the emerging technologies that have the potential to transform communications in the future. We received contributions from companies, organisations and technology experts from across the world.

Today we have published a report highlighting examples of the technologies submitted to us – including analysis of how each technology would make a difference to people and businesses.

Innovative technologies to support the rollout of better mobile and broadband services; the role of satellite technology in connecting the hardest to reach areas; and exciting developments in the broadcast sector – such as enhanced, bespoke coverage of sporting events – all feature in the report. New immersive technologies allowing people to touch – and even smell – at a distance, are also highlighted.

Download the report from
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/emerging-technologies

Further detail on these technologies is explained in a series of videos we have published alongside the report.
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/emerging-technologies/video-contributions

Just one week until the Winter 2021 AM QSO Party!

It is time to get those aerials checked and your vintage sets warmed or your modern transceiver tuned to AM. This can only mean one thing, the Winter AM QSO Party 2021 will soon be with us!

The event will take place from 18:00 UTC on Friday 22nd until 17:59 on Sunday 24th January 2021 and takes place in 'operating windows' on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metre bands. The event is open to amateurs all over Europe and beyond!

This fun, non contest event is organised by the AM Amateur Radio Europe Facebook group and has categories for all licence levels to take part in.

Full details of the event can be found at:
https://amqsoparty.wixsite.com/mysite

If you have any interest in AM operating on the amateur bands, please do join our growing Facebook community at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/65658254
1370211

I hope to work some of you during the event and I shall publish another reminder via Southgate News on the 22nd.

Vy 73,

Simon Taylor MW0NWM

Anyone remember this gear?

THURSDAY EDITION: Tony's DX report includes our very own Mick-N1RPH, check Monday!...Listening on 7200 get you riled up, try self massage to relax....Best of what is new in 2020...I always wondered why plastic packs of blueberries had an elastic band around them. I threw the band away yesterday and grabbed the blueberries this morning for cereal....shit, blueberries all ove the kitchen floor. ....

Israel's radio hams lose access to much Microwave spectrum

Radio amateurs in Israel have lost much of their spectrum between 1 and 6 GHz and suffered a draconian power reduction on 10 GHz

Israel has three classes of amateur license:
Class A (Advanced) up to 1500 watts
Class B (General) up to 250 watts
Class C (Novice) 100 watts on 4 HF bands, lower power on some higher bands

Israel's Ministry of Communications amateur allocations document produced on November 17, 2020, shows these changes to amateur allocations between 1 and 10.5 GHz:

The 23cm band (formerly 1240-1300 MHz) has been reduced to just 1260-1270 MHz and can only be used by Class A holders for Satellite uplink with a maximum power of 25 watts.

The 13 cm band appears to have remained the same, Class A and Class B have:
2320-2340 MHz 15 watts
2400-2402 100 watts
2402-2450 100 milliwatts

9 cm band which used to be 3400-3475 MHz has been entirely lost

6 cm band was 5650-5850 MHz now only the satellite segments remain 5650-5670 MHz 50 watts and 5830-5850 MHz 200 milliwatts. Only Class A can use them and it appears to be satellite only operation.

3 cm band has suffered a dramatic power reduction
10.00-10.45 GHz maximum power is now just 100 milliwatts and is Class A only (it was 100w Class A, 25w Class B)
10.45-10.50 is satellite only, Class A 100 watts, Class B 25 watts

A PDF of Israel's new amateur allocations is at
https://www.gov.il/BlobFolder/service/radio-amateurs-certificates/he/RadioAmateur_
terms-of-allocation-of-frequency-band.pdf

Contests: Information from WA7BMN

Not too much excitement this week.

+ RSGB Hope QSO Party 1400Z-1530Z, Jan 14 (SSB)
+ Hungarian DX Contest 1200Z, Jan 16 to 1159Z, Jan 17
+ PRO Digi Contest 1200Z, Jan 16 to 1159Z, Jan 17
+ North American QSO Party, SSB 1800Z, Jan 16 to 0559Z, Jan 17
+ NA Collegiate Championship, SSB 1800Z, Jan 16 to 0559Z, Jan 17
+ Feld Hell Sprint 2000Z, Jan 16 to 0559Z, Jan 17
+ Run for the Bacon QRP Contest 2300Z, Jan 17 to 0100Z, Jan 18
+ Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest 0100Z-0159Z, Jan 19
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Jan 20
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1900Z-2000Z, Jan 20
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 0300Z-0400Z, Jan 21

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Joe- K1JEK tells me the Near-Fest in May has been cancelled....Imagine if Trump got a ham license?...Everything you need to know about radials...Qsl cards-  art and history....From what I see in the news, there are a lot of dumb-asses in Florida...Sharp shooting warden solves the problem of two bucks locked up...

Dayton Hamvention 2021 cancelled

The Hamvention organizers have decided to cancel this year's show which had been planned for May 21-23 in Xenia, Ohio

A notice on their website says:

Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic make necessary the difficult decision to cancel Hamvention 2021. Hundreds of volunteers have been working to do everything necessary to bring this Hamvention to the many amateur radio enthusiasts and vendors who support the Dayton Hamvention.

Vaccine distribution both in the United States and around the world is lagging behind what was planned. In addition, the emergence of a more communicable form of the COVID-19 virus increases the potential for further public health problems in the next few months. We make this difficult decision for the safety of our guests and vendors.


Dayton Hamvention
https://hamvention.org/

IARU preparing for WRC-23

The ARRL report preparations continue on the part of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to represent the interests of the amateur and amateur-satellite services at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) sponsors WRCs, typically every 4 years, to consider revisions to the international Radio Regulations that define frequency allocations for various radio services.

“As an incumbent radio service with allocations at intervals throughout the radio spectrum, the amateur service faces challenges at every WRC,” IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, said. “Successfully defending our existing access to the spectrum is a significant accomplishment at any WRC, but sometimes it is possible also to improve our existing allocations. WRC-19 resulted in major improvements in 50 MHz allocations in Region 1. Without any doubt, this could not have happened without the concerted efforts of dozens of IARU volunteers over the course of several years.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/international-amateur-radio-union-preparing-for-wrc-23

 

TUESDAY EDITION: Q shithead gets sick if he doesn't have organic food on the plate, good luck in prison. Bubba will give you some organic food....This guy needs a good slap in the face.....DX Commander vertical review....FCC Cracking Down on Property Owners From Which Pirate Broadcasters Operate, wonder when they will crack down on ham radio hotspots? How's that new OO program working?

Dayton Hamvention Cancels 2021 Show

Dayton Hamvention® will not take place for the second year.

“Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic make necessary the difficult decision to cancel Hamvention 2021,” a January 11 announcement from the Hamvention Executive Committee said.  Sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA), Hamvention was set to take place May 21 – 23 in Xenia, Ohio.

“Hundreds of volunteers have been working to do everything necessary to bring this Hamvention to the many amateur radio enthusiasts and vendors who support the Dayton Hamvention. Vaccine distribution both in the United States and around the world is lagging behind what was planned. In addition, the emergence of a more communicable form of the COVID-19 virus increases the potential for further public health problems in the next few months. We make this difficult decision for the safety of our guests and vendors. Those who had their tickets deferred last year will be deferred again.”

The committee said the show would return in 2022 and hinted at a QSO party for Hamvention weekend. In November, Hamvention had announced that “The Gathering” would be the theme for the 2021 show.

Hamvention is the largest annual amateur radio gathering in the US and was host of the ARRL National Convention in 2019. The ARRL Hamfest and Convention Calendar includes a searchable database that includes other canceled in-person events.

AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox 1E Set to Launch

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is a go for launch on Wednesday, January 13, at 1500 UTC, carrying the AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E CubeSat into space. The LauncherOne vehicle will carry 10 other satellites. RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E carries an inverting linear transponder, with uplink at 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz, and downlink at 435.760 MHz – 435.790 MHz. Telemetry will downlink on 435.750 MHz. More information is on the Space Launch Now website. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service/AMSAT-UK

Brazil: Home constructed ham radio equipment

On December 29, 2020, Brazil's national amateur radio society LABRE participated in a video conference with the communications regulator ANATEL

A translation of the LABRE post reads:

On the agenda, the Agency's treatment of homemade equipment, those built by the radio amateur himself, which currently requires approval / certification.

In April 2020, LABRE communicated to Anatel, through Official Letter No. 17, all the requirements to Radio Amateurs related to certification that it did not agree with, explaining them. Since then, these points have been discussed, with Anatel remaining for passing on a formal response to this letter, item by item.

At the meetings, ANATEL raised, among other issues, its understanding that artisans should be certified under the LGT, the General Telecommunications Law . In view of this position, LABRE has insisted on the need for the exemption of artisans based on more historical arguments and statements about decisions already taken by Anatel in favor of the exemption, including based on Resolution 697/2018 , which is clearly stated in Paragraph only of its Article 13 that we do have the claimed exemption.

All this reasoning was exposed in Official Letter No. 44 of LABRE that complemented the previous one and was discussed at the meeting with the Superintendent of Granting and Provision of Resources and other gifts, held on December 29th. At the end of the meeting, through the negotiations agreed upon, another letter was filed , No. 46 , in which LABRE again complements the arguments of the previous letters with the opinion given by the Specialized Attorney's Office and other citations.

LABRE awaits ANATEL's response, in the expectation that the Agency will accept our arguments and be able to exempt all radio amateurs who build their own equipment from having to carry out this legal procedure, that is, approval, as we understand that there is no reason for such a requirement.

Source LABRE 
https://tinyurl.com/BrazilLABRE

Mid Ulster ARC Tuesday Night Lecture Series

Hello folks!

Happy new year! So, what do you do on a Tuesday evening? Well, The Mid Ulster ARC Tuesday Night Lecture Series is back!!

Kicking off again this Tuesday evening at 7pm we are being treated again by Simon GW0NVN on the topic of getting the best out of your station on VHF and UHF. A great topic for beginners in the hobby and some good reminders for those old hands. As always everyone is welcome and spread the link amongst fellow club members. Will you consider joining us on the 2nd and 4thTuesday of every month as we continue this wonderful lockdown series.

Tuesday Night Lecture Series 7pm 2nd and 4thTuesday of every month

Dave Parkinson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83268623068
Meeting ID: 832 6862 3068

Irish contest news

There was a good turnout of Irish and overseas stations for the New Year's Day IRTS 80 metres Counties Contest.

Conditions were good, so the band was busy for the full hour of the contest.

More than 40 logs have been received to date. To improve cross-checking, the contest manager is hoping to receive more logs before the deadline, which is Friday next, 15th January.

Logs, even if they have only a few QSOs, should be sent to irts.contests/at/gmail/dot/com

The UKEICC evening 80 metres contest took place on Wednesday last and there was strong participation from EI stations, with Enda Broderick EI2II taking second place overall.

UKEICC runs SSB contests on the first Wednesday of the month, and CW on the last Wednesday of the month, while its annual CW DX 24-hour contest commences on Saturday 23rd January at 1200z.

UKEICC's DX contests are the only DX contests where EI and GI counties are multipliers

New Amateur VLF Transatlantic Record Set

Very low frequency (VLF) enthusiast Joe Craig, VO1NA, reports that Stefan Schaefer, DK7FC, copied his 50-character message transmitted from Newfoundland on 8.271 kHz, with a radiated power of 10 mW.

“This is a new record for amateur transatlantic VLF,” Craig told ARRL. “The mode used was EbNaut by Paul Nicholson. EbNaut is a synchronous coherent BPSK mode for use at VLF and low LF. Craig’s tower supports a VLF RL (rotated L) 10-meter (33 feet) average height and 100 meters (328 feet) long. VLF is the ITU designation for radio spectrum in the range of 3 – 30 kHz, corresponding to wavelengths from 100 to 10 kilometers, respectively.

“Since VLF waves can penetrate at least 40 meters (131 feet) into saltwater, they are used for military communication with submarines,” Craig noted.

 

MONDAY EDITION: AT&T Is Restoring Its Bullshit Broadband Caps Because Apparently The COVID Crisis Is Over....Remember Buffalo Bill....Here is the government at work pissing away our tax money....I watched a Celtics practice clip and saw a few players shooting with ear buds playing music, that wouldn't fly with old Red Auerbach....FM signal heard from one of Jupiter's moons...SpaceX is on course to rocket tens of thousands of satellites into Earth's orbit, part of Elon Musk's plan to blanket the planet in high-speed internet. For the first time, data shows that the company may be able to accomplish this feat without marring everyone's view of the night sky....One Twitter wag joked about lights flickering on and off at the White House being Donald Trump signaling to his followers in Morse code after Twitter and Facebook squelched the president for inciting rebellion.

Neil Williams - K1YPM-now a silent key (SK), Greenland, NH. A gentleman and will be sorely missed at HRO lunches. Neil was 91 and died from Covid-19...RIP

VIDEO: QSL Cards Art & History for Ham Radio and Beyond

K8QS and WA9TDD show how amateur radio operators as well as SWL and AM broadcast radio DXers have used QSL cards to form personal identities, share memories, earn awards, and create art. Video includes interesting QSL examples and pithy observations from co-hosts of "Ham Radio Perspectives," the only YouTube channel dedicated to exploring the history, culture, and technology of ham radio.  https://youtu.be/X1SjLIEDIHw

Ham radio rig used to control MQ-9 Reaper drone

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) used an amateur radio transceiver to demonstrate Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) HF Command & Control (C2) of an MQ-9 Reaper Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS)

GA-ASI says:

The HF C2 capability does not require a Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link and is capable of providing BLOS connectivity up to 8,000 miles, depending on transmit power and link geometry.

“We demonstrated a BLOS assured Command & Control capability that can be used in contested or denied environments,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “GA-ASI is committed to developing a flexible UAS architecture with assured C2 that is relevant in a broad set of mission scenarios.”

For the demo, GA-ASI integrated the U.S. Government’s Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) autonomy software into the Open Operational Flight Profile (OFP) of an MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and flew the MQ-9 using improved diagonal tails with conformal HF antennas incorporated into the leading edges.

GA-ASI’s MQ-9 housed a FlexRadio Systems’ FLEX-6600 HF software-defined radio and associated hardware to translate and execute an autonomous mission plan. GA-ASI created a specialized HF software adapter to manage the unique latency and throughput constraints of the HF waveform to demonstrate BLOS command and control of the RPA.

The demonstration was flown out of Laguna Army Air Field/Yuma Proving Grounds on Dec. 16, 2020. The MQ-9 was commanded from Austin, Texas approximately 1,000 miles away over an HF C2 link. This capability enables an operator to task the MQ-9 without needing SATCOM, providing a means to operate in SATCOM-denied, contested environments.

Source GA-ASI   https://www.ga-asi.com/ga-asi-demonstrates-blos-command-control-over-hf-using-mq-9

Today Alex went to the DMV to renew his license. When he was told to go have his picture taken he noticed that there were some men having their picture taken, these men were wearing turbins on there heads. Alex was asked to take his hat off to have his picture taken. He said "no", and "no" again when asked the second time. When he was asked why he would not remove his hat he said, "those men didn't remove their head wear, I shouldn't either". It was explained that this was their attire and their religion. Alex told the DMV person that what he had on was his attire and when he entered the Marines he declared an oath to the USA, and one nation under God, so that his oath was under God so just as good as his religion. Well, the DMV people didn't know what to do, they spoke to supervisors and called Sacramento. Alex was told, after an hour, that he could wear his hat for the picture and if there were any problems they would let him know and he could appeal their decision. He told them if there was a problem he WILL appeal it. Alex feels no one has more right to display their head gear then a Veteran or active service person. When he left several employees at the DMV clapped quietly for him. He has spoken to few other Veterans and they plan to do the same.

The Significance of Q in Communications

A very long time ago I was in Chicago meeting with the man who wrote the security system for IBM’s AS400. I asked him “but why a Q” as we discussed the QSECOFR account.

He said it was a rare letter, denoting something special, and I had no reason to doubt him. This man claimed to have created the system for IBM and chose a Q for the simple reasons he said.

It’s true Q is rare. There’s only one Q tile in Scrabble and it has 10 points assigned (highest possible).  Story continues

 

WEEKEND EDITION: Have a great weekend......We have become a society of scared sheep.....Beware of stuff you buy at the thrift store...

Yaesu FT-DX10 And Icom IC-7300, Side By Side Comparisons- video

“This is an unofficial side by side comparison of the 2 receivers while incorporating the noise reduction and filtering features of the two. I am greatly surprised at the level of DNR and clarity of the Yaesu receiver. Noisy signals can be almost completely cleaned up with enough filtering turned on.. These two radios are not a fair comparison, the prices are totally different. The 7300 is a fantastic radio, I own it. There is no negative aspects pointed at either radio in this video. We just assumed that the amount of 7300 users in the world would want to see how the 7300 compares to this brand new Hybrid SDR by Yaesu.”

FCC Invites Comments on Expanding the Number of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators

In a January 5 Public Notice, the FCC requested comments on whether the current 14 Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) are sufficient to facilitate the efforts of their accredited Volunteer Examiners (VEs) in administering amateur radio examinations, or whether up to five additional VECs should be authorized. The ARRL VEC is the largest of the 14 VECs in the US. Comments are due by February 5, and reply comments are due by February 19. After Congress authorized it to do so, the FCC adopted rules in 1983 to allow volunteers to prepare and administer amateur radio examinations, and it established the system of VECs and VEs.

“VECs introduced consistency into the volunteer examiner program by centralizing accreditation of volunteer examiners, coordinating the dates and times for scheduling examinations, and managing the various administrative tasks arising from examinations,” the FCC said. Authorized VECs may operate in any of the 13 VEC regions but must service at least one region. The FCC pointed out that some VECs now offer remote examinations.

“The Commission has long maintained 14 VECs and now seeks to consider whether they continue to serve the evolving needs of the amateur community, or whether there are unmet needs that warrant considering expanding the number of VECs.”

The FCC Public Notice provided questions for framing comments:

  • Are the existing 14 VECs sufficient to coordinate the efforts of Volunteer Examiners in preparing and administering examinations for amateur radio operator licenses, or are additional VECs needed?
  • What needs are currently being met, and which needs, if any, are not?
  • If the FCC were to allow additional VECs, how many more would be needed to satisfy existing Amateur Radio Service license examination needs? (The FCC indicated that it will likely cap the number of additional VECs at five.)
  • Given that VECs use a collaborative process to create examination question pools and volunteer examination administration protocols, would additional VECs enhance or hinder this process?
  • How would increasing the number of VECs address the unmet needs, if any, of the amateur radio community, and what obstacles or complications could result from increasing the number of VECs?

Interested parties may file short comments on WT Docket No. 21-2 via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing Service (Express). Visit the FCC’s “How to Comment on FCC Proceedings” page for information on filing extended comments. 

And this is why people look at hams strangely...

Foundations of Amateur Radio

The other radios in the world ...

When you join the community of radio amateurs you'll find a passionate group of people who to greater and lesser degree spend their time and energy playing with radios in whatever shape that takes. For some it involves building equipment, for others it means going on a hike and activating a park. Across all walks of life you'll find people who are licensed radio amateurs, each with their own take on what this hobby means.

Within that community it's easy to imagine that you're the centre of the world of radio. You know stuff, you do stuff, you invent stuff. As a community we're a place where people dream up weird and wonderful ideas and set about making them happen.

Radio amateurs have a long association with emergency services. When I joined the hobby over a decade ago one of the sales pitches made to me was that we're ready to be part of emergency communications. In some jurisdictions that's baked into the license.

There was a time when a radio amateur was expected to be ready to jump into a communications gap and render assistance with their station. There are amateur based groups groups like WICEN, the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network in Australia, ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service in the United States, RAYNET, the Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network in the United Kingdom, AREDN, the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network in Germany, DARES, the Dutch Amateur Radio Emergency Service, AREC or Amateur Radio Emergency Communications in New Zealand and EmComms in Trinidad and Tobago to name a few.

Each of those manages their participation in different ways. For example, ARES offers training and certification where AREDN offers software and a how-to guide, in Trinidad and Tobago the Office of Disaster Preparedness Management is actively involved in amateur radio and maintains an active amateur radio station and five repeaters.

In Australia there's a requirement to record and notify authorities if you become aware of a distress signal as a part of your license. In fact in Australia you must immediately cease all transmissions. You must continue to listen on frequency. You must record full details of the distress message, in writing and if possible recorded by tape recorder.

While that scenario can and has happened, it's not common. An amateur station being used to provide an emergency link in the case of catastrophic failure has also happened, but in Australia I'm not sure if that was in my lifetime or not.

My point is that the idea that we're going to put up a critical radio link and be the heart of communications in an emergency is, in Australia at least, not particularly likely. That's not to say that you should ignore that potential, or that it's universally true, but it's to point out that there are other things that you can do with your license that might happen more readily and help your community more.

Outside our amateur community, there's plenty of radio in use as well. The obvious ones are volunteer bush fire brigades, state emergency services and the like. Less obvious might be the local marine rescue group, surf life saving or the local council. Each of those use radios as part of their service delivery and a radio amateur can contribute to that without needing to bring their station along. In fact, if you don't have an amateur license, but want to play radio, that's an excellent place to do it as a volunteer. I should mention that radio procedures are also in use in all manner of other professions, mining, policing, the military and aviation to name a couple, not to forget occupations like tour-guides, ferry operators and pretty much any place where telephones, fixed or mobile are not readily deployed.

Within those areas there are procedures and jargon that you'll need to learn and perhaps even need to be certified for, but you as a radio amateur have several skills that you can bring to the table because you already have a license.

For example, I learnt my phonetic alphabet many years before I ever heard of amateur radio. It was a requirement for my aviation radio ticket which in turn was required before I flew solo. When it came to making my first ever transmission on amateur radio, doing the phonetic thing was second nature, much to the surprise of my fellow trainees at the time. A thank you is due to both Neil VK6BDO, now Silent Key, and Doug VK6DB for making that training happen.

You can apply the skills you bring with you when you join an organisation outside amateur radio who deals with wireless communication in whatever form that takes. For example, just the idea that you know how to pick up a microphone and push the Push To Talk button and speak and let the button go after you're done, a pretty trivial activity in amateur radio, will be something that you have that most of the untrained general public have no idea about.

Amateur radio is a massive hobby. Playing with radio, or doing something serious with it comes in all shapes and sizes. Your amateur experience can help, but be prepared to learn different procedures and methods. The amateur way isn't the only way and it's not the only place where radio is used and sometimes it's good to have a look outside your comfort zone and see what the neighbours are up to.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2254 for Friday January 8th 2021


FCC EYES ADDING VOLUNTEER EXAMINER COORDINATORS

STEPHEN: Our top story this week finds the Federal Communications Commission asking: Is 14 enough? That's the current number of Volunteer Examiner Coordinator organizations who oversee VEs, or volunteer examiners, hams who administer the US license exams. In a notice posted on January 5th on the FCC website, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced it would like public input on whether it should authorize additional coordinators - as many as five - to support the volunteer examiners' ongoing work. Since 1983, VE coordinators have overseen the accreditation of the volunteer examiners, managing administrative tasks connected to the exams they give, and coordinating when the tests are given.

The scene changed last year when new rules took effect in July permitting VE Coordinators to conduct remote exam sessions. They did so most recently this past December in Antarctica.

The FCC notice said: [quote]: "The Commission has long maintained 14 VECs and now seeks to consider whether they continue to serve the evolving needs of the amateur community or whether there are unmet needs that warrant considering expanding the number of VECs." [endquote]

Comments are due by the 4th of February. Details about filing electronically or on paper are available on the FCC website.

(FCC.GOV)

**
BREXIT DOESN'T CUT ALL UK TIES TO EU SATELLITES

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A late-December agreement has preserved the UK's involvement in some European satellite programs, post-Brexit. Jeremy Boot G4NJH picks up the story from here.

JEREMY: An agreement between the UK and the EU has clarified the post-Brexit relationship between the two with regard to scientific research, permitting the UK's continued participation in Copernicus, the EU's Earth monitoring programme. The deal also ensures that the UK and a number of private satellite operators based there will also retain access to the Space Surveillance and Tracking Programme established by the EU for space situational awareness.

The deal, however, does not provide the UK with access to encrypted or secure services on Galileo, Europe's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Galileo was established to assist emergency response-services on Europe's roads making railways and roads safer. Although smartphone users may not notice any difference, the UK itself will no longer have access to the satellite services for defence or national infrastructure.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(GOV.UK, AMSAT, SCIENCEBUSINESS.NET)

**

WOODEN SATELLITES SEEN AS FIX TO 'SPACE JUNK'

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: How do you build a satellite that is kinder to the environment? A partnership in Japan is exploring the answer - and Graham Kemp VK4BB has those details.

GRAHAM: Solutions to the growing problem of "space junk" don't grow on trees - or do they? Perhaps yes: In Japan, a forestry company has partnered with Kyoto University to work on building a robust and resilient satellite out of wood - something that would be Earth-friendly as well as space-friendly. Their goal is to have one such satellite ready for launch by 2023. The experimental work includes exposing different varieties of wood to extreme temperature changes and sunlight, to see how a wooden satellite might behave in space. An added plus: Upon re-entry, wooden satellites could return to Earth without releasing harmful substances or debris on the way down.

Kyoto University professor Takao Doi, a Japanese astronaut, told the BBC: [quote] "We are very concerned with the fact that all the satellites which re-enter the Earth's atmosphere burn and create tiny alumina particles which will float in the upper atmosphere for many years." [endquote]

He said the next step is to develop the engineering model of the satellite and after that, a flight model.

The BBC reports that nearly 6,000 satellites are now orbiting the Earth, according to figures from the World Economic Forum. Some 60 percent of them are considered "space junk," meaning they are no longer in use.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.

(BBC)

**
SEA-PAC ANNUAL CONVENTION CANCELLED

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: COVID-19 precautions have led to the cancellation of yet another major amateur radio gathering. SEA-PAC, the 2021 ARRL Northwestern Division Convention, has been called off as an in-person event in Oregon where it was scheduled to be held in June. Chairman John Bucsek KE7WNB said alternative activities online and on the air were being explored.

(SEA-PAC)

**
LAWMAKERS SEEK PROBE INTO ARECIBO COLLAPSE

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In the US, Congress is taking a second look at the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Paul Braun WD9GCO tells us more.

PAUL: Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., plan an investigation into the December collapse at the Arecibo Observatory, just weeks after Puerto Rico's outgoing governor committed $8 million in resources to rebuild its historic radiotelescope.

In the December 1st collapse, the dish was gashed beyond repair following the crash of a 900-ton instrument platform. The telescope, a valued cornerstone in modern astronomy, was being decommissioned by the US National Science Foundation following other damage that occurred weeks earlier. At the time of the final collapse, it had been earmarked for dismantling.

Congress has requested a report by the end of February.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Paul Braun WD9GCO

(SPACE.COM)

**
IOWA STUDENTS' BALLOON CIRCLES EARTH A THIRD TIME

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The world has kept turning into the new year and so too has one Iowa amateur radio club's balloon project. Jack Parker W8ISH has that story.

JACK: Three circumnavigations after its launch, the Pella Amateur Radio Club's APRS balloon was still the pride of the Jefferson Intermediate School fifth graders who'd helped launch it back in November. It ended the year 2020 as a success in the sky. Transmitting on 144.39 MHz with the callsign WB0URW-8, the helium-filled balloon had completed three trips around the world since its November 5th launch and seemed unstoppable. It was still making its rounds as 2021 dawned, according to radio club member Jim Emmert WB0URW. Jim told KNIA-KRLS radio that in its third trip around Planet Earth, the balloon passed over Canada, Greenland, Portugal, Spain, Albania and North Macedonia - among many other places. Powered by solar panels, the balloon can be tracked by following the link that appears in this week's script on our website at arnewsline.org.

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: According to a January 6th report by the radio station, the balloon has since completed its fourth trip - a journey that takes about two weeks. The students have reason to be proud.

**
PROJECT EYES DIRECT WAY TO GATHER SOLAR POWER

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Imagine collecting the solar power you need from a spot much, much closer to the sun. Jim Damron N8TMW tells us about a project that's doing more than just imagining.

JIM: The US Air Force Research Laboratory is hanging its hopes on something called Helios. It's a key component named after the Greek sun god and is part of an experiment known as Arachne (Uh-RACK-Knee) expected to be launched into space in 2024. The formal name of the project is the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research solar beaming project.

What's that? The Air Force lab describes it as a project that will explore a way to harvest solar energy directly from space, where sunlight is more potent outside the Earth's atmosphere and where solar panels have more hours of exposure. Through use of something called "sandwich tiles" and other systems, the experiment will convert the collected energy to radio waves for beaming back to Earth as usable power.

Helios, which is being supplied by Northrup Grumman, will house the platform on which these solar beaming experiments occur. Northrup Grumman's role has left the Air Force lab free to concentrate on acquiring a spacecraft where it might all begin to happen.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jim Damron N8TMW.

(CLEAN TECHNICA, POPULAR MECHANICS, US AIR FORCE)

**
SILENT KEY: JAMES GOLDEN KD0AES

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A popular net control operator with the Handiham Program for disabled amateurs has become a Silent Key. Christian Cudnik K0STH tells us about him.

CHRISTIAN: James Golden, KD0AES, a Life Member of the Handiham Program, was perhaps best known as net control for the Tuesday Handiham Radio Club net, a busy gathering place for disabled amateurs like him. According to his obituary in the Nevada Daily Mail, the Nevada, Missouri radio operator, who had cerebral palsy, brought such enthusiasm to his on-air responsibilities that at one point he served as net control for three nets a week. Grateful for his skill in handling busy traffic in an always-polite manner, a number of amateurs pooled their money to purchase a Handiham Life Membership for him.

James continued with his activity until two weeks before his death on December 9th. James Golden, who was 46, died of COVID-19.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Christian Cudnik K0STH.

(HANDIHAM, NEVADA DAILY MAIL)

**

SILENT KEY: LOGGING SOFTWARE DEVELOPER DAVE PRUETT K8CC

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We also report the death of NA Contest Logging Software Developer Dave Pruett, K8CC. Dave became a Silent Key on the 29th of December. A chairman of the Michigan QSO Party and a log-checker for the ARRL's 10-meter and 160-meter contests, Dave's most widely known contributions were perhaps in the area of contest log development. Early on, he was the developer of a program for RadioShack computers that checked logs for duplicate contacts. He also created the NA contest logging software which is capable of handling a number of contests. He was also a former editor of the National Contest Journal.

Dave was 66.

(ARRL)

**
SILENT KEY: FORMER RAC PRESIDENT FARRELL (HOPPY) HOPWOOD VE7RD

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: An influential member of the Canadian Amateur Radio Community has become a Silent Key. John Williams VK4JJW tells us about his long career.

JOHN: Farrell Hopwood VE7RD, who had been president of RAC and a member of the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, has become a Silent Key. Known as Hoppy, he died on December 8th. The son of a telegrapher father and a Teletype-operator mother, Hoppy began his long career in telecommunications in his native British Columbia in 1948. In 1955, Hoppy became an amateur radio operator with the call sign VE7AHB. Those who attended Expo 86 in Vancouver saw the amateur radio station and exhibit there that was created by Hoppy and his team. An avid DXer, he was also involved in VHF/UHF linking and packet.

Hoppy became an early member of the Canadian Radio Relay League and the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation, rising through its ranks into leadership. He also became involved in key discussions to merge the two organisations into the RAC. Hoppy later became president of the RAC, retiring from the post in 1998 after serving three terms.

He was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.

Hoppy was 91.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm John Williams VK4JJW.

(RAC)

**
NOVA SCOTIA CONTEST WEATHERS THE STORM

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: A recent winter contest hosted by one Canadian amateur radio club turned out to be a disaster -- and the members couldn't have been happier. Kevin Trotman N5PRE has those details.

KEVIN: The Halifax Amateur Radio Club called their contest the "2-Meter Get on the Air Winter Event," and it was designed to challenge the hams' ability to stay connected in the face of an emergency. For four hours on January 2nd, it was a dry run for disaster for John Bignell VE1JMB, the club's director-at-large, and 50 or so other club members. It also turned out to be a frozen run: the contest went forward despite a heavy snowfall that covered much of Nova Scotia. John, who is also an EHS Advance Care Paramedic, said the contest underscored the need for hams to have a reliable communications network when disaster strikes, as it did in 2017 when Bell Aliant suffered a connection outage of landlines and cellphones in Eastern Canada.

John told the Saltwire Network website that the contest was also about having fun but it's important to remember too that when the Red Cross, rescue teams or ground-search personnel need communications backup, hams should be there and ready. That makes everyone a winner in every contest.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.

(JOHN BIGNELL VE1JMB)

**
WHEN THE DX FINDS THE DXer IN FINLAND

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: There are many of us who like to go off in search of some good DX - but what happens when the DX unexpectedly finds YOU? Ed Durrant DD5LP tells us.

ED: As she gave her "good morning" greetings to local listeners from her radio studio in Canada's Yukon territory, CBC program host Elyn (ELLEN) Jones recently gained a new fan. It was Jorma (YORMA) Mäntylä (MON-too-lah), who was listening on 560 kHz, the station's AM frequency, from his home 7,000 km away in Finland. He was somewhat surprised to hear the programme, "Yukon Morning," as it arrived last fall via the long wire antenna he'd directed toward North America. Jorma is no stranger to DX though. He's been at it since getting his amateur radio licence in 1967, with some of his proudest DX contacts being New Zealand, Israel and Japan.

Still, he believed some kind of special QSL card was in order so he emailed the CBC and attached an mp3 file of what he'd heard. It was a multimedia e-qsl card of sorts. The file revealed a signal of varying quality but it was still a valid contact. "Yukon Morning" is one of many CBC radio shows that are available via streaming and on demand but I'm sure Jorma would tell you RF is best!

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.
(SOUTHGATE, CBC)

**
WORLD OF DX

In the world of DX, Hams are honoring the work of Lions Clubs International with special event tation GB4BLC in England. Members of the Bedworth Lions Club and operators from the Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating through January 28th on most of the HF bands. The operation will include the digital modes. There will be no QSL cards.

Another special event station is operating from Poland. Members of the SEDINA Contest Club will
activate the special event station SQ0MORSE through April 30th, marking the 230th anniversary of
the birth of Samuel F.B. Morse. Operations will be on various HF bands. Send QSLs to SP1EG, direct or by the Bureau.

(OHIO PENN DX, QRZ)

**
KICKER: FOR HUNTING DECOY MARKETER, THE COST OF RFI IS DEAR

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our final story is about an FCC action against a company it has charged with radio interference. The government agency, it seems, is making some noises involving - of all things - animal noises. Kent Peterson KC0DGY has more.

KENT: Can the grunt or snort or a bleat of a deer be considered QRM? Probably not, but instructions being transmitted wirelessly, directing a hunting decoy to utter those noises is quite another matter. The FCC and a US company called Primos have entered into a consent decree over its product, the Waggin' Whitetail Electronic Deer Tail Decoy, for what the FCC has called noncompliance with Part 15 of its rules. The FCC believes the decoy's remote, which users report has a transmission range of between 40 and 60 yards, exceeds authorized field strength emissions limits and could interfere with nearby electronics. According to the FCC, the company acknowledged that it had marketed six such models that exceed those limits.

Primos has agreed to embark on a plan for compliance and has begun a voluntary recall.

The company will also pay a civil penalty that could be considered somewhat.....dear: $55,000.

Primos noted that it had received no complaints of interference occurring with any other devices. As for interference complaints from any of the local wildlife -- no bucks or does were available to grunt, snort, bleat or otherwise comment for this report.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.

(FCC, PRIMOS)

FRIDAY EDITION: Looks like no storms for the next week which will take us half way thru January,....My friend gave me a HO trainset for my grandson, I forgot how much fun trains were.....The Amateur's Code was written in 1928 and very much applies today. Let's take a look at the Code and how it can improve civility in our hobby and on the air.....Solar Update....Fat, drunk and chasing utilities workers with a skid-steer is no way to go through life, son........Before you run out and buy a Tesla....

History This Week

Monday, 3 March, 2014

1223 BC The oldest recorded eclipse occurred on a date on a clay tablet from the ancient city of Ugarit, Syria

1611 Johannes Fabricius, a Dutch astronomer, observed sunspots for the first time.

1618 Johannes Kepler formulated his Third Law of Planetary Motion.

1661 The Royal Society, London, England, elected Sir Robert Moray as their first president.

1876 Alexander Graham Bell patented an "Improvement in Telegraphy" (No.174,465) the Telephone.

1899 SS "R F Matthews" collided with the lightship; which radioed the
lighthouse ashore to get assistance. This was the first time ever a distress call was transmitted by radio from a ship at sea! Sent 'HELP' etc...

1977 The first Freon-cooled Cray-1 supercomputer, costing $19,000,000, was shipped to Los Alamos Laboratories

2021 AM Rally Set for First Weekend in February

The 2021 running of the AM Rally will take place from 0000 UTC on Saturday, February 6 to 0700 UTC on Monday, February 8. The annual AM Rally operating event encourages all operators to explore amateur radio’s original voice mode by showcasing the various types of amplitude modulation equipment in use today, ranging from early vacuum-tube radios to the latest SDR-based transceivers.

“Participation in the AM Rally has continued to grow over the past 5 years, as more operators explore the mode,” said Clark Burgard, N1BCG. “The AM Rally is a great way to beat the winter and COVID-19 blues.”

The AM Rally is open to all radio amateurs capable of operating on AM using any type of radio equipment from vintage to modern, vacuum tube to solid state. The AM Rally will use the 160-, 80-, 40-, 20-, 15-, 10-, and 6-meter bands.

“Those who have never tried AM mode will find plenty of help, if needed,” Burgard assured. An AM Rally 2021 promotional video is available. Contact Burgard for more information. 

British Railways ARS special event

During 2021 the British Railways ARS will be celebrating 55 years since the forming of the society in 1966.

History of the Formation of British Railways Amateur Radio Society.

British Railways Amateur Radio Society had their inaugural meeting on the 29th October in 1966 at British Railways Board Headquarters after the work of acting Secretary S.W.L Gray.

One of the founder members of BRARS who attended that meeting was S.W.L. John Chappell who is now G4ZTQ.

In 1967 Ronald Hooper G3SCW attended a meeting in Sweden which led to the formation of FIRAC the “International Federation of Railway Radio Amateurs”. France Germany and Switzerland initially formed FIRAC and the organisation has a membership exceeding 2000 worldwide. I have been the President of BRARS since 1979 and our first Congress meeting was held in1982 in Lowestoft Suffolk.

Membership is open to railway and non railway members and more info is available off the following websites:- www.firac.dewww.BRARS.inf and www.firac.org.uk. Geoff Sims G4GNQ

The society will be running the special event call GB0LMR which is also the suffix of the club call.

The station will be operated by BRARS member Mark G1PIE from Preston in Lancashire.

Bands of operation will be 40M to 10M in SSB and PSK-31 and PSK-63 and VHF/UHF.

WAB SD52, Loc IO83QR.

Qsl cards are via the RSGB bureau or direct with sae to Mark G1PIE.

Further information is on qrz.com and the society website www.brars.info

The Secret Listeners

A 1979 BBC programme about civilian involvement in radio-based intelligence during WW1 and WW2 features amateur radio

The YouTube description says:

Illustrated with archival film and photographs, as well as interviews with those involved, the documentary traces the evolution of civilian involvement in radio-based intelligence during both world wars.

It was the tireless work of amateur radio enthusiasts during World War I, that initially convinced the Admiralty to establish a radio intercept station at Hunstanton. Playing an integral role during the war, technological advances meant that radio operators could pinpoint signals, thus uncovering the movement of German boats, leading to the decisive Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Wireless espionage was to play an even more important role during World War II, with the Secret Intelligence Service setting up the Radio Security Service, which was staffed by Voluntary Interceptors, a band of amateur radio enthusiasts scattered across Britain. The information they collected was interpreted by some of the brightest minds in the country, who also had a large hand in deceiving German forces by feeding false intelligence.

Watch Wartime Radio The Secret Listeners BBC (1979)

THURSDAY EDITION: What a cluster fuck yesterday was not to mention  a huge international embarrassment. I thought 2021 would get better....Which brings up an interesting observation, your local police department could not handle a siege situation if all hell broke out. Police departments work where the population is respectful of laws...but in a crisis, no food or water available for your family..who knows what would happen, I never thought the White House could be stormed and taken over...

Icom announces AH-705 HF/50 MHz Automatic Antenna Tuner

Icom has announced details of its forthcoming portable automatic antenna tuner for the IC-705. The AH-705 is a palm-sized portable antenna tuner that has been designed to work between the 1.8-50MHz bands. It can be powered either by alkaline batteries or DC 13.8V supply.

AH-705 HF/50 MHz Automatic Antenna Tuner Features

  • Covers the 1.8 MHz to 50 MHz bands, using a long wire element
  • 2-way power sources using alkaline batteries or 13.8 V DC (13.8 V DC should be taken directly from an external power supply, not through the IC-705.)
  • Latching relays used for saving power consumption
  • IP54 dust-protection and water-resistant construction for outdoor use
  • Compact design that neatly fits in the optional LC-192 multi-function backpack

Further information about the AH-705 HF/50 MHz automatic antenna tuner can be found by clicking on this downloadable PDF .

Launch of Spanish ham radio satellites delayed

AMSAT-EA report Alba Orbital, the UK space broker that manages the launch of EASAT-2 and Hades satellites, has informed them of a delay in the SpaceX launch which had been planned for January 14

This delay has nothing to do with our satellites, or with Alba Orbital itself.
It is attributable to Momentus, which acts as an integrator with SpaceX.

The delay means the next try would probably go to March, coinciding with the Starlink mission and being located in an estimated orbit between 450 and 550 km with an inclination of 53 degrees.

As for the satellites themselves, this should not be a major setback. We do not expect a significant drain on the batteries.

We keep you all posted.

You have more information about our satellites on our website
https://www.amsat-ea.org/proyectos/

Home Construction Webinar Jan 11

The RSGB’s Tonight @ 8 programme starts again on Monday, January 11, with a webinar on amateur radio construction by Steve Hartley G0FUW and Pete Juliano N6QW

The presentation: Amateur radio construction – what to do, how to do it and why you should try it

Despite what many people think, building your own radio equipment is still a very popular aspect of amateur radio. In fact there has never been a better time to do this with readily accessible building blocks and high spec test equipment available at bargain basement prices, or, in the case of software, absolutely free.

This presentation will cover the reasons why people homebrew radio equipment, share some ideas on how to get started and provide show some examples of homebrew gear, using hardware and software.

You will be able to watch the webinar on YouTube at
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRSGB

Northernmost Reverse Beacon Net Node in Europe Launched

Thanks to a grant from the Yasme Foundation, the northernmost Reverse Beacon Net (RBN) node in Europe went online on December 22. It was made possible by a Yasme Foundation initiative to provide additional Reverse Beacon Network nodes in underserved areas.

The latest node to become active is hosted by Radio Arcala, OH8X, very close to the Lapland Region. At and above the Arctic Circle during hours of darkness, polar path propagation offers a footprint covering all of North America for many hours, even for stations within the auroral oval, and stations in the far north have been able to take advantage. The OH8X RBN node would further help the study of the polar path mode, in which Radio Arcala will be cooperating with the northern scientific community.

The RBN node receiver is currently located at the Radio Arcala station, OH8X, at 65-11-03N and 26-14-53E, but may later be moved even farther north to be into the heart of the auroral region of the Arctic Circle. — Thanks to Radio Arcala 

Croatia Grants Access to New 40 MHz Band

Croatia has joined the small number of countries to allow operation on the new 40 MHz (8-meter) band. Dragan Mojsilovic, 9A6W, reports that national telecom authorities there have granted him a 1-year experimental license to operate from 40.660 MHz to 40.700 MHz, in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band.

Croatia becomes the fifth country to offer at least some operating authority in the band. Ireland, Slovenia, and South Africa already have 40 MHz allocations, while Lithuania has allocated spot frequencies for experimental purposes. The EI7GL blog offers more information.

You can test positive for COVID-19 after a vaccine-but that doesn't mean the shots don't work

It takes time to develop antibodies against the novel coronavirus. 

Since the first round COVID-19 vaccines became available in the United States in December 2020, several healthcare workers have reported testing positive within a few days of receiving their first shot. However, it’s not unexpected that some people are being diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after getting vaccinated—and it doesn’t mean that the vaccines aren’t working as predicted.

According to one report, an emergency room nurse in San Diego experienced chills, muscle pain, and fatigue six days after receiving his first dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on December 26, more than a week after being vaccinated. In Austin, Texas, physician Emily Porter and her husband began feeling ill within a few days of receiving their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. On December 31st, Porter tweeted that five of the six members of their household had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Both of the vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization appear to be extremely effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine had an efficacy rate of 95 percent, while Moderna’s vaccine had an efficacy of 94.1 percent. However, this protection doesn’t kick in the moment people receive their first shot.

“The vaccines don’t work instantaneously,” says Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a member of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA’s Division of Infectious Diseases. “It takes a while to actually generate an immune response after exposure to a pathogen.” When somebody has been infected with the actual virus, he says, protective antibodies (ones that prevent you from getting infected again) can typically be detected after two weeks.

During Pfizer’s phase 3 clinical trial, new COVID-19 cases decreased among participants who’d been vaccinated starting about 10 days after they’d received their first dose compared with participants who received a placebo. The vaccine offered 52 percent protection after one dose, and reached 95 percent protectiveness about a week after the second dose.

So it’s possible that somebody could become infected shortly after vaccination, before they develop immunity, Brewer says. How likely it is that a person who tests positive will develop symptomatic COVID-19 will vary depending on when they were vaccinated. “If they test positive right at the time they get their vaccine, they’re going to have a higher risk of getting disease than if they test positive, say, a week after their second dose,” Brewer says.

Additionally, as impressive as the new vaccines are, they will not be protective in 100 percent of the people who receive them. It’s also not yet known whether vaccines will prevent people from unwittingly spreading the virus.

WEDNESDAY EDITION: I guess I am surprised and not surprised to see the ARRL having their hand out for the Virtual Ham Expo returning in March. What costs? They have sponsors, they have the server and computer, the hams putting on the shows can't be paid according to FCC rules. I think the idea is great and will be a rewarding experience but make it free for God's sake....Storm spotters need help....Dave and the crew at HRO in Salem, NH has been flat out busy, the best place to buy ham gear! My buddy Dean just bought the FTM300 and is pleased as punch with it...... Off grid solar interference...HF antennas for beginners...

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Returning in March...BUT IT'S $10

The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will return March 13 – 14 for a full 48 hours, QSO Today host Eric Guth, 4Z1UG/WA6IGR, announced this week. ARRL is a QSO Today Expo Partner. Guth said the inaugural QSO Today Expo last August attracted more than 16,000 attendees, and he anticipates that the March 2021 event will be even more successful.

The upcoming QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will feature new speakers and presenters, panel discussions, and kit-building workshops among other activities. Guth pointed out that attendees can log in from anywhere. While he anticipates a good turnout by those who typically attend such ham radio events, the virtual Expo also offers an opportunity for those concerned about pandemic travel restrictions as well as for those who don’t typically attend in-person events.

“At our last Expo, we found that 60% of attendees don’t go to in-person national conferences, and 40% don’t attend state or local events,” Guth said, noting that distance and the high cost of travel and lodging were the most oft-cited reasons.

Registration is required, and to help cover the costs of staging this event, there will be a charge to attend. Advance tickets are $10 ($12.50 at the “door”) and include entry for the live, 2-day show as well to the 30-day on-demand period. At the Expo, visitors can:

Learn from a line-up of such well-known ham radio personalities as Bob Allphin, K4UEE, on “My Favorite DXpeditions to DXCC Top 10 Most Wanted;” Michael Foerster, W0IH, on “Using the Arduino in Your Shack,” and Ron Jones, K7RJ, on “3D Printer Basics.”

Take part in live virtual kit-building workshops. (Kits will be available for purchase and delivered to attendees in time for the Expo.)

Walk through the virtual exhibit hall to visit an array of amateur radio vendors and see live demonstrations of the latest equipment. This show will leverage newer video technology to provide a better experience for attendees to engage with exhibitors.

Those planning to attend the Expo may take advantage of new speaker calendar technology to create their own calendar of presentations in their time zones, which can be saved to a Google or Outlook calendar.

Registrants may return over the 30 days following the live event to catch speakers and presentations missed during the live period, as well as to explore and re-engage exhibitor offerings.

“The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo has all of the familiar hallmarks of an in-person hamfest, including opportunities to connect and learn,” ARRL Product Development Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, said. “Expect to bump into friends and well-known experts and personalities from throughout our worldwide ham radio community!” He explained that attendees visiting an exhibit or virtual lounge will be able to interact with other attendees in those settings.

FlexRadio is the Expo’s Platinum Sponsor. Gold sponsors as of this time include Elecraft, RFinder, and CSI.

NA Contest Logging Software Developer Dave Pruett, K8CC, SK

Contester and logging software developer Dave Pruett, K8CC, of Allen Park, Michigan, died on December 29. An ARRL member, he was 66. Although slowed in recent years by health issues, he is considered to have been a significant contributor to the contesting community. After obtaining the source code for the CT contest logger, Pruett wrote new code, and “his NA software breathed new life into the program,” expanding it to accommodate multiple contests, said contester Jim Cain, K1TN.

Earlier, Pruett had developed a program to check logs for duplicate contacts that ran on a RadioShack computer.

He was a log checker for the ARRL 10-Meter and 160-Meter Contests, chaired the Michigan QSO Party, and was a longtime member of the Mad River Radio Club in Findlay, Ohio. He served as editor of National Contest Journal (NCJ) for several years when contester Randy Thompson, K5ZD, was the publisher and later, after ARRL assumed publication of the magazine.

“He was a guy who got things done,” Thompson said in a post to the CQ-contest reflector.

Pruett also operated from the Caribbean on many occasions and was a participant in the 1996 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) with Stan Stockton, K5GO, who called him “an inspiration.”

TUESDAY EDITION: I woke up to a coating of snow on the lawn and nothing in the driveway, great way to start tje day....How to  convert text into audio...Operating qrp with the new Icom 705...Brady continues to break records....A photographer in Spain has witnessed a mirage so rare, it's possible no one has ever seen it before. We're talking about a green flash on Jupiter. A movie of the unusual phenomenon, with expert commentary, is featured on today's edition of Spaceweather.com

Radio Technology

Marconi

Radio owes its development to two other inventions: the telegraph and the telephone. All three technologies are closely related, and radio technology actually began as "wireless telegraphy."

The term "radio" can refer to either the electronic appliance that we listen with or to the content that plays from it. In any case, it all started with the discovery of radio waves—electromagnetic waves that have the capacity to transmit music, speech, pictures, and other data invisibly through the air. Many devices work by using electromagnetic waves, including radios, microwaves, cordless phones, remote controlled toys, televisions, and more.

The Roots of Radio

Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell first predicted the existence of radio waves in the 1860s. In 1886, German physicist Heinrich Rudolph Hertz demonstrated that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves, similar to light waves and heat waves.

 1866, Mahlon Loomis, an American dentist, successfully demonstrated "wireless telegraphy." Loomis was able to make a meter connected to a kite cause a meter connected to another nearby kite to move. This marked the first known instance of wireless aerial communication.

But it was Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, who proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. In 1899, he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel, and two years later received the letter "S," which was telegraphed from England to Newfoundland (now part of Canada). This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message.

In addition to Marconi, two of his contemporaries, Nikola Tesla and Nathan Stubblefield, took out patents for wireless radio transmitters. Nikola Tesla is now credited with being the first person to patent radio technology. The Supreme Court overturned Marconi's patent in 1943 in favor of Tesla's.

The Invention of Radiotelegraphy

Radiotelegraphy is the sending by radio waves of the same dot-dash message (Morse code) used by telegraphs. Transmitters, at the turn of the century, were known as spark-gap machines. They were developed mainly for ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. This form of radiotelegraphy allowed for simple communication between two points. However, it was not public radio broadcasting as we know it today.

The use of wireless signaling increased after it was proved to be effective in communication for rescue work at sea. Soon a number of ocean liners even installed wireless equipment. In 1899, the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York. Two years later, the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up until then, the Navy had been using visual signaling and homing pigeons for communication.

In 1901, radiotelegraph service was established between five Hawaiian Islands. In 1903, a Marconi station located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, carried an exchange between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII. In 1905, the naval battle of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war was reported by wireless. And in 1906, the U.S. Weather Bureau experimented with radiotelegraphy to speed up notice of weather conditions.

Robert E. Peary, an arctic explorer, radiotelegraphed "I found the Pole" in 1909. A year later, Marconi established regular American-European radiotelegraph service, which several months later enabled an escaped British murderer to be apprehended on the high seas. In 1912, the first transpacific radiotelegraph service was established, linking San Francisco with Hawaii.

Meanwhile, overseas radiotelegraph service developed slowly, primarily because the initial radiotelegraph transmitter was unstable and caused a high amount of interference. The Alexanderson high-frequency alternator and the De Forest tube eventually resolved many of these early technical problems.

The Advent of Space Telegraphy

Lee de Forest was the inventor of space telegraphy, the triode amplifier, and the Audion, an amplifying vacuum tube. In the early 1900s, the development of radio was hampered by the lack of an efficient detector of electromagnetic radiation. It was De Forest who provided that detector. His invention made it possible to amplify the radio frequency signal picked up by antennae. This allowed for the use of much weaker signals than had previously been possible. De Forest was also the first person to use the word "radio."

The result of Lee de Forest's work was the invention of amplitude-modulated or AM radio, which allowed for a multitude of radio stations. It was a huge improvement over the earlier spark-gap transmitters.

True Broadcasting Begins

In 1915, speech was first transmitted by radio across the continent from New York City to San Francisco and across the Atlantic Ocean. Five years later, Westinghouse's KDKA-Pittsburgh broadcasted the Harding-Cox election returns and began a daily schedule of radio programs. In 1927, commercial radiotelephony service linking North America and Europe was opened. In 1935, the first telephone call was made around the world using a combination of wire and radio circuits.

Edwin Howard Armstrong invented frequency-modulated or FM radio in 1933. FM improved the audio signal of radio by controlling the noise static caused by electrical equipment and the earth's atmosphere. Until 1936, all American transatlantic telephone communication had to be routed through England. That year, a direct radiotelephone circuit was opened to Paris.

In 1965, the first Master FM Antenna system in the world, designed to allow individual FM stations to broadcast simultaneously from one source, was erected on the Empire State Building in New York City.

CB Popularity...skip the step and get a tech license.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has interestingly led to an uptick in the use and interest in CB radio, or amateur radio as it is called in the US; It serves as an interesting stat in the age of smartphones and the internet

WALCOTT, IA / ACCESSWIRE / January 5, 2021 / The COVID-19 Pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of people now interested in using CB Radio, learning to use it, and people who are buying CB radios. According to the FCC, there are now more than 765,000 amateur radio license holders in America, stating that the number is on the rise since the start of the Pandemic, with more people applying for licenses.

Many different websites that provide ham radio courses meant to help prepare people for a ham radio test have also acknowledged an increase in the number of people enrolling. According to some leading websites, the surge in students started in March 2020, with the number soaring to 706% compared to the same time last year (2019).

In addition to providing reliable emergency communications, amateur ham radio operators have been assisting the authorities by building DIY medical equipment throughout the crisis. PIC, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Feature microcontrollers are used to build ham radios at home, which can also be adapted and modified to work as homebrew ventilators.

Readers can find out more about Walcott Radio by visiting their official website https://www.walcottradio.com

"We have always sold CB radios here at Walcott Radio, it's something we are passionate about, but many were worried that interest was dwindling as the community assumingly shrunk. However, the recent uptick in interest is promising. In fact, we've sold more CB radios this year than we have in the past three years, which is saying something about how popular this mode of communication has become during the COVID-19 Pandemic." Said a representative for Walcott Radio.

W1AW 2021 Winter Operating Schedule:

CW frequencies include code practices, Qualifying Runs and CW bulletins.

DIGITAL = BAUDOT (45.45 baud), BPSK31 and MFSK16 in a revolving schedule.

Code practice texts are from QST, and the source of each practice is given at the beginning of each practice and at the beginning of alternate speeds.

On Tuesdays and Fridays at 2330 UTC (6:30 PM EST), Keplerian Elements for active amateur satellites are sent on the regular digital frequencies.

A DX bulletin replaces or is added to the regular bulletins between 0100 UTC (8 PM EST) Thursdays and 0100 UTC (8 PM EST) Fridays.

Audio from W1AW's CW code practices, CW/digital bulletins and phone bulletin is available using EchoLink via the W1AW Conference Server named "W1AWBDCT." The monthly W1AW Qualifying Runs are presented here as well. The audio is sent in real-time and runs concurrently with W1AW's regular transmission schedule.

All users who connect to the conference server are muted. Please note that any questions or comments about this server should not be sent via the "Text" window in EchoLink. Please direct any questions or comments to w1aw@arrl.org .

In a communications emergency, monitor W1AW for special bulletins as follows: Voice on the hour, Digital at 15 minutes past the hour, and CW on the half hour.

All licensed amateurs may operate the station from 1500 UTC to 1700 UTC (10 AM to 12 PM EST), and then from 1800 UTC to 2045 UTC (1 PM to 3:45 PM EST) Monday through Friday. Be sure to bring a reference copy of your current FCC amateur radio license.

The weekly W1AW and monthly West Coast Qualifying Runs are sent on the normal CW frequencies used for both code practice and bulletin transmissions. West Coast Qualifying Run stations may also use 3590 kHz.

Please note that because of current COVID-19 restrictions, W1AW is not open for visitor operations at this time.

 

MONDAY EDITION: No snow here, not even a drizzle just overcast....I am still debating if I should get the vaccine. ...I am glad I am not in the Chinese army...These robots creep the shit out of me.....Only in Georgia...Twenty new pistols we are not allowed to have here in MA....Sherwood test data on RX....So long Miami....

HAM RADIO KEEPS ASTRONAUTS IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY

The International Space Station cost more than $100 billion. A ham radio set can be had for a few hundred bucks.

Perhaps that explains, in part, the appeal of having one of humankind's greatest scientific inventions communicate with Earth via technology that's more than 100 years old. But perhaps there's a simpler explanation for why astronauts and ham radio operators have been talking, and talking, for years.

NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the space station when feelings of isolation began to set in.

Wheelock would be separated from loved ones, save for communication via an internet phone, email or social media. At times, the stress and tension of serving as the station's commander could be intense.

One night, as he looked out a window at the Earth below, he remembered the space station's ham radio. He figured he'd turn it on -- see if anyone was listening.

"Any station, any station, this is the International Space Station," Wheelock said.

A flood of voices jumbled out of the airwaves.

Astronauts aboard the space station often speak to students via ham radio, which can also be used in emergencies, but those are scheduled appearances. Some, like Wheelock, spend their limited free time making contact with amateur radio operators around the world.

"It allowed me to ... just reach out to humanity down there," said Wheelock, who interacted with many operators, known as "hams," during that stay at the space station in 2010. "It became my emotional, and a really visceral, connection to the planet."

The first amateur radio transmission from space dates to 1983, when astronaut Owen Garriott took to the airwaves from the Space Shuttle Columbia. Garriott was a licensed ham who, back on Earth, had used his home equipment in Houston to chat with his father in Oklahoma.

Garriott and fellow astronaut Tony England pushed NASA to allow amateur radio equipment aboard shuttle flights.

"We thought it would be a good encouragement for young people to get interested in science and engineering if they could experience this," said England, who was the second astronaut to use ham radio in space.

An almost all-volunteer organization called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, now helps arrange contact between students and astronauts. Students prepare to ask questions rapid-fire, one after another, into the ham radio microphone for the brief 10-minute window before the space station flies out of range.

"We try to think of ourselves as planting seeds and hoping that we get some mighty oaks to grow," said Kenneth G. Ransom, the ISS Ham project coordinator at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Typically, about 25 schools throughout the world are chosen each year, said Rosalie White, international secretary treasurer at ARISS.

"Not too many people get to talk to an astronaut," she said. "They get the importance of that."

The conversations are a treat for the astronauts as well.

"You're talking to someone and looking right down at where they are," NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold II said.

Over the last 10 years, ham radio has become more popular, experts say, with about 750,000 licensed amateur operators across the United States. (not all of whom are active on the air). Helping to drive that interest: emergency communications.

"Ham radio is when all else fails," said Diana Feinberg, Los Angeles section manager for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio. "Unlike other forms of communication, it does not require any kind of a switched network."

But for some hams, the allure is the opportunity to connect with people all over the world -- or even above it.

During his 10-day shuttle mission in 1983, astronaut Garriott spoke with about 250 hams all over the world, including King Hussein of Jordan and Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Garriott died in 2019.

"From my perspective, even from a young age, it was very obvious how globally inspirational that moment was," said his son Richard Garriott. "People from Australia and America, just all over, had tuned in, and it clearly touched them. No matter what their station was, no matter where physically they were, they all became part of this global experience."

It's not surprising that Richard Garriott followed his father's example with a 2008 flight to the space station as a private astronaut. During his free time on the 12-day mission, the younger Garriott made contact with so many hams on the ground -- including his father -- that the two pieces of paper he carried to record contacts filled up during his first day on the radio.

"Any moderately populated landmass, without regard to time of day or night, you would find a bountiful group of enthusiasts who are ready to make contact," he said.

What drives this desire for contact? Amateur radio operators love a challenge, particularly when it comes to reaching remote or unusual locations.

"We're always, in amateur radio, talking to people we don't know," England said. "If we didn't enjoy the adventure of meeting other people through that way, we probably wouldn't have been amateur radio operators."

Amateur operator Larry Shaunce has made a handful of contacts with astronauts over the years, the first time in the 1980s, when, as a teenager, he reached Owen Garriott.

More recently, Shaunce, 56, made contact with NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor in 2018.

"Hello, this is Larry in Minnesota," he said after Aunon-Chancellor acknowledged his call sign.

"Oh, Minnesota!" she replied, adding that she could hear him "super clear" up in space and that he must have nice equipment.

"It's always exciting when you talk to somebody in space," said Shaunce, an electronic technician in Albert Lea, Minn. "You just never know. I monitor the frequency all the time."

James Lea knows that reaching the space station can be hit or miss. He and a friend once pulled over near a farm in Bunnell, Fla., as the space station flew overhead.

The pair sat in a truck with an antenna on the roof and the radio equipment in the cab. After a few tries, they heard Auñón-Chancellor respond: "Hey, good morning, Florida. How are you?"

Lea, 53, a filmmaker and engineer, recalled that he and his friend were "sitting in the middle of a cabbage field. The fact that she came back to him was kind of incredible."

Lea's daughter Hope has tried for years to reach the space station but has never gotten a response. She got her ham radio license at age 8. Now 14, Hope is thinking about becoming an astronaut and going to Mars, her father said.

David Pruett, an emergency physician from Hillsboro, Ore., tried to contact the space station using a multi-band amateur radio with a magnetic mount antenna, placed in a pizza pan to improve performance. Working from his dining-room table, he made many fruitless attempts. But one day, the space station got close to the West Coast, and Pruett again put out the call.

"November Alpha One Sierra Sierra," he said, using the amateur radio call sign for the space station.

Seconds of silence stretched after Pruett's identification: "Kilo Foxtrot Seven Echo Tango X-ray, Portland, Ore."

Then came a crackle, then the voice of astronaut Wheelock. At the close, both signed off with "73" -- ham lingo for "best regards." Remembering that first conversation in 2010 still makes the hair on Pruett's arms stand up.

"It was absolutely unbelievable," Pruett said. "To push that microphone button and call the International Space Station and then let go of the button and wait, and then you hear this little crackle, and you hear Doug Wheelock come back and say, 'Welcome aboard the International Space Station' -- it's just mind-boggling."

Pruett and Wheelock went on to have 31 contacts in all, one when Pruett was stuck in a traffic jam in Tacoma, Wash.

"I feel like I struck up a friendship with him," said Pruett, 64, who chronicled many of his contacts on YouTube. "I can only imagine that their workload is very tight, and they've got precious little free time, but I think it was very generous of him to donate as much of his free time to amateur radio operators as he did."

Wheelock remembers Pruett well.

"David was one of the early contacts I made," he said. "He was one of the first voices I heard as I was approaching the West Coast."

Wheelock's other ham radio contacts made similarly deep impressions on him -- including a man from Portugal he spoke to so many times that Wheeler and his fellow astronauts once serenaded him with "Happy Birthday to You."

Wheelock also made contact with some of the first responders who worked to rescue the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days in 2010.

"I just wanted to give a word of encouragement ... to let them know that there's someone above that cares about what they're doing and what's in their path," he said.

During a six-month mission from 2005 to 2006, NASA astronaut William McArthur spoke via ham radio with 37 schools and made more than 1,800 individual contacts in more than 90 countries.

"That's just an infinitesimally small percentage of the world's population, but it's a lot more than I think I could have directly touched any other way," he said. "I wanted to share with people who maybe were random, who maybe didn't have a special connection or insight into space exploration."

It also allowed for some variety in his conversation partners. During his mission, McArthur's main crew mate was Russian cosmonaut Valeri Tokarev.

"I love him like a brother. We're very, very close," he said. "But still, it's one other person for six months."

A Harvard professor says an alien visited in 2017 - and more are coming

When the first sign of intelligent life visits us from space, it won't be a giant saucer hovering over New York. More likely, it will be an alien civilization’s trash. 

Avi Loeb, chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy, believes he’s already found some of that garbage. 

In his upcoming book, 'Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth' (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), out Jan. 26, the professor lays out a compelling case for why an object that recently wandered into our solar system was not just another rock but actually a piece of alien technology.    STORY

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
KA1BXB-Don...Regular on 3928 afternoons....just don't mention politics to him, please!
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key Neill -K1YPM .....a true gentleman
Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent Key
VA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....